Passing of Professor Chuck Reeg

January 8, 2021

Professor Chuck ReegProfessor of Chemistry Emeritus Charles “Chuck” Reeg passed away on December 19, 2020 due to COVID-19.

Reeg taught physical and general chemistry from 1971 to 2011. He served as faculty chair for three different terms that spanned three different decades. During his tenure at Whittier, Reeg advised and/or sponsored students in the Whittier Scholars Program, the pre-med advisory program, Rhodes Scholars mock interview program, the student ecology club, and the National Leadership Honors Society, Omicron Delta Kappa. In 2011, he was honored with the Richard B. Harvey Award from the Associated Students of Whittier College, awarded to faculty who have shown outstanding leadership in the classroom, exemplary service to the College, and going beyond the call of duty. Students appreciated his sense of humor and patience. When he received the Keys to the College Award he was described as "a most popular faculty member who is always available to students for consultation and assistance." In addition, younger faculty members commented that Reeg served as a role model and mentor as they were developing as faculty members.
According to his family, Reeg was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and dementia a few years ago and then suffered a stroke. His wife Margo cared for him with the help of caregivers at home, sparing him from isolation in a nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic. His health declined more rapidly in the last six months, and then in December, he spent two weeks in the hospital. Margo, and his daughters Kristin and Heidi, were grateful that he was able to come home on hospice for the last week of his life. The family shared music, love, and many peaceful moments leading up to his passing.
Reeg was considered a consummate story and joke teller; the family is building a collection in these stories in an online memorial website. Friends and relatives are encouraged to add stories they remember about Reeg or stories told by him.
In lieu of flowers, the family states that donations are welcome to Whittier College Fund Scholarships, an environmental organization led by Ojibwe tribal leaders in Minnesota (dedicated to protecting the water, including cleaning up an old pipeline that passes a few miles from Reeg's favorite lake—Pike Bay in Minnesota), or to Chorale Bel Canto, where Reeg sang second bass for 20 years.
The family is also planning a Zoom gathering that everyone is welcome to attend:
Virtual Celebration of Life
Sunday, January 31
3 p.m. (PST)
Meeting ID: 883 1776 6978
Passcode: 641359