Obituary: Charles Rich Magnusson

US Army veteran, dedicated father, active church volunteer

Charles Rich Magnusson died March 11 at the age of 89.

He was born November 5, 1929 and spent most of his childhood growing up in Riverside, California. He graduated from Ontario’s Chaffey High School, where he earned a varsity letter in swimming. He earned an associates degree from Chaffey College, in what is now Rancho Cucamonga, before joining the US Army in 1950.

He served in the infantry during the Korean War.

“He would speak of his time in the army more as he got older, and we grew to appreciate him more, as well as all those who are serving or have served,” his family shared. “In one of his interviews he noted, ‘The army prepares you to die. That’s what the infantry’s all about.’ He had strong faith that God would come through time and again, and he did! Dad made his peace at that time that he might not return, but God had other plans for him.”

After his service was done in Korea he went on to graduate from San José State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. During his time at San Jose State, he served as president of Kappa Alpha fraternity and worked as a lifeguard in the Santa Cruz area.

After graduation he moved back to Pomona, where he met his wife Nancy in June of 1959. The young couple started their family in Pomona, with their three boys born while they were living there.

The family moved to Claremont in 1972, where they made many new friends and Mr. Magnusson was very active with his boys in Little League, Boy Scouts and Indian Guides.

He was the vice president of Gardena, California-based CWECO for 21 years. He spent a majority of his day commuting from Claremont to Gardena, but always found time to attend his sons’ football, baseball and soccer games. He was a lifelong member of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona, where he served as chairman of the board of deacons, in addition to many other positions.

The longtime Claremont resident had recently relocated to Thousand Oaks, California.

Nancy, his wife of 59 years, died last year.

He is survived by sons William, his wife Debra, and their children, Ahnna (Patrick McLaughlin) of Cotati, California, Alyssa and Carli of Madera, California, and Adam of Oahu, Hawaii; James, his wife Tracy, and their children Michelle and Nicholas of Thousand Oaks, California; Robert, his wife Sanna, and their children Matt and Ben of Tustin, California; and sister-in-law Cyndy Newton (Chuck), of Traverse City, Michigan.

The family thanks the staffs at An Everlasting Spring in Thousand Oaks, St. Matthews in La Verne, and the nurses at Hillcrest Cedar Court and Woods, “for their support in helping dad over the last couple of years. Dad made sure that we all knew how proud he was of us, and how much he loved us.”

Family and friends are invited to a graveside service at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 30 at Oak Park Cemetery, 410 Sycamore Ave., Claremont.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Magnusson’s name to the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Womens Auxillary at (click on “Giving & Support,” “Ways to Give,” “Giving in Memory or Honor”).


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