Charles Franklin Lynde was born January 30, 1936 to Kermit Patrick (Pat) and Leone (Cole) Lynde in Howard, SD. He grew up and attended school In Howard until the family moved to Mitchell.
He graduated from Notre Dame High School and enlisted in the United States Air Force on February 2, 1954. He earned a degree in Bamberg Navigation at Lowery Air Force base in Denver, Colorado. In April 1956, he was transferred to the Harlingen Texas AFB. While there, he was a bomb navigation instructor. In May 1957, he attended the School of Aviation Space Medicine Program at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, Texas. It was at this time in his military career that he worked on many projects involving space travel. He was instrumental in the design of the seating apparatus that NASA used on the first mission to space. He also worked with a team to prove that RADAR was not an effective instrument to utilize on space shuttles. Because of his efforts, no space shuttle was ever equipped with RADAR.
In November 1958, he married Betty Russell in Harlingen, Texas. In April 1959, he and Betty were transferred to Ramsey AFB in Puerto Rico where he was again a Bomb Navigation Instructor until May 1962. In June 1963, he attended ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) Technical School at Kessler AFB in Mississippi. From there, he went back to Amarillo, Texas installed an operated the 7th ECM Simulator. In May 1966, he completed his service to the United State Air Force as a Flight Simulation Maintenance Specialist. After his discharge from the Air Force, he was general manager of a pest control business in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
In September 1973, he returned to Mitchell. He and Betty were divorced in February 1974. He married Ruthanne Edward on March 8, 1974. He served 10 years in the National Guard as Gunnery Sergeant. He earned the rank of E6 before being honorably discharged. He and Ruthanne made their home in Mitchell. He was employed at Dakota Manufacturing, Dakota Pump, and Trail King. He retired from Trail King in February 1998. After his retirement, he couldn’t sit still and began a lawn service for several years until his health forced him to retire for good.
Charles had many passions. He worked as a slow pitch umpire for several years. One of most enjoyable times in his life was when he coached a men’s 16-inch slow pitch team. He coached for several years, earning a state championship. Anyone who talked to him usually heard stories of the team’s antics.
He will be remembered for his loving heart and kind soul. He touched the lives of all that knew him. He was always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it. He could build anything and could make something out of nothing.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife of 40 years Ruthanne, Mitchell. His children Nanette Craig, Texas; Lisa (Jay) Bigge, Mitchell; Timothy (Cindy) Edwards, Mitchell; Christopher (Amy) Edwards, Madison, WI; Chad (Melissa) Edwards, Sioux Falls; and Nicolle Voeltz, Mitchell; his grandchildren Michaela, Jace, Sam, Ayla, Aaron, Max, Connor, Lindsay, Kennedy, and Jason; brothers Rolland and wife Norma, Rapid City; Larry, Rapid City; Jim (Connie) Lynde Mitchell, a sister Pat Brink, Mitchell; brother-in-law Dr. Larry (Carolyn) Nelson, Webster, sister-in-law Mary (Eymard) Boehmer, Montomery, MN, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Kermit and Leone, his first wife Betty, his mother and father-in-law Lawrence and Jeanne Nelson, his sister and brother- in-law Shirley and Norbert Bartscher, a brother CC Lynde, sister-in-law Bev Lynde, brother- in law Don Brink, nephews Allen Bartscher, Steve Lynde, Richard Lynde, and Randy Bartscher, niece Joyce, and great-nephews Eric Brink and Joshua Tietz.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.