Chas Vander Wilt, 72

Charles Dwight Vander Wilt, beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and friend, passed away peacefully at home Jan. 10, 2024, sur-rounded by the love of his family. Chas was optimistic, gregarious, and funny. His final years confirmed Chas’ favorite quote from Dumb and Dumber that, “Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose!”

Chas had an idyllic childhood in Sully with his brother and three sisters - playing ball with friends, lighting the family barn on fire at the age of five, and helping his dad on his milk route. He enjoyed having free reign from dawn until dusk, helping himself to fruit from his neighbors’ gardens, and swimming in the pond. Chas loved sports of all kinds. His proudest athletic achievements were sinking Bobo the clown at the Iowa State Fair (again and again … and again), and the 29 touchdowns he scored playing intramural football at Taylor University.

It was at Taylor that he met Jenny Noreen (Jennifer), his “shy admirer” and future wife. They lived happily together in Des Moines; Boise, ID; and ultimately Sandy, UT. Together, they raised two beautiful daughters and enjoyed the happiest times of their lives – planning and taking family vacations, go-karting as competitively as possible, playing church basketball and softball, and spending hours around the dinner table telling stories and jokes. He joked that their family was so close, they could fit into a Hula-Hoop. His wit, optimism, and enthusiasm made even mundane activities fun.

Chas enjoyed a wonderful career in the window industry. He and his loyal business partner, Lou, established a successful company, Contractor’s Window Supply. Chas joked that his “second-longest relationship with a woman” was with his faithful bookkeeper, Arloween. Chas was known for his integrity, work ethic, and long hours – yet he always had time for phone calls from his wife and daughters.

Far from bored as empty-nesters, Chas and Jennifer enjoyed Jazz games, U of U football games, plays and musicals, Bible studies, reading, golf at Hidden Valley Country Club, dinner with friends, and perhaps most thrilling of all – watching BYU lose. They traveled to all 50 states and numerous countries and continents. There was not much Chas loved more than being on a safari in Kenya - standing the entire time, using binoculars, and spotting animals before the guides! But his travel priority was always visiting Emily and Whitney, wherever they happened to be.

One of Chas’ greatest joys was being “Grandpa” to his five precious grandchildren. He loved playing hide-and-seek and catch in the backyard, going on rides in his red convertible and “safari” on the golf course, treating the “kiddos” to ice cream cones and dinners out, and attending their games and events. He was adored by his grandchildren, who showered him with Peeps, attention, and affection.

Chas was a longtime member of Evangelical Free Church of Salt Lake City, and formerly The Rock Church and Grace Community Bible Church. He was a born-again Christian, whose faith in Jesus Christ especially deepened in the past several years - reading the entire Bible twice and growing through his men’s Bible studies.

Chas was diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia last January and died unexpectedly from complications of pneumonia. He patiently endured his disease with dignity and courage, and Jennifer lovingly cared for him at home until the end. They would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this June. “Our hearts are broken from losing Chas, but we are thankful for the wonderful years that we had with him. We rejoice that he is now healthy and whole with God and look forward to being with him again in Heaven.”

Chas was preceded in death by his parents Orval and Ruth Vander Wilt and dear sister Charlotte Christensen.

He is survived by his devoted wife Jennifer; two cherished daughters Emily (Ethan) and Whitney (Joe); five beloved grand-children (Luca, Evangeline, Christian, Caroline, and Zara); three loving siblings (Philip, Martha, and Mary Ellen) and their spouses (and brother-in-law Maury); caring nieces and nephews; and many faithful friends.

Chas impacted countless people in his life and was so loved. We will miss him forever.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake in memory of Chas, who always showed compassion toward the “least of these.”

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