The Cremation Society of Iowa
Charles Mitchell Northrop
Charles “Chuck” Northrop, age 90, passed away on August 3, 2019. Chuck was born on May 29, 1929 in Des Moines to Mitchell Edward and Elva Belle (Gardner) Northrop. He graduated from Roosevelt High School, Drake University, and Drake Law School. Chuck was a Naval Aviator during the Korean War and saw duty in the South Pacific and Alaska. He was a member of West Gate Adelphic Masonic Lodge in Des Moines and the Sons of the American Revolution Organization in New York City.
Chuck moved to New York City in 1960 and worked in Investment Banking on Wall Street for 20 years as Head of the Research Department of Hoppin Bros. and Company.
In 1967, Chuck married Claiborne Wallace Leachman, 20 years after they first met at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. Claiborne was a stage actress and singer on Broadway for many years. From this union a son, Berkeley Claiborne Northrop was born in 1968.
While living in New York City, the family bought a farm in Quakertown, New Jersey near the Delaware River where they engaged in the hobby of organic farming, among many other enjoyable endeavors. It was a long commute, but they enjoyed living in both New York City and Western New Jersey.
In 1980, Chuck and Claiborne divorced and Chuck moved to La Jolla, California with son Berkeley. During the 1980s and 1990s Chuck and five close friends from San Diego went sailing each year on chartered 50 foot Beneteau Sail Boats to the South Pacific, Sea of Cortez, and all of the Windward and Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea.
Chuck moved back to Des Moines in 2002 to take care of his ailing sister. Claiborne passed away in 2010.
During the past 20 years while in Des Moines, Chuck had been active as a volunteer docent at the Salisbury House and as a volunteer at the Senior Professional Golf Tournament at Wakonda. He was also an avid reader, cross-word puzzler, and model airplane builder. He enjoyed the many hunting and fishing trips to Canada; the monthly luncheons with the olde geezers; and the summers around the Wakonda Pool. He also enjoyed his four Korean Honor Flight trips to Washington D.C.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Virginia Denman; and wife, Claiborne. Chuck is survived by his son, Berkeley and wife Christy and two granddaughters, Summer and Kylee, all of Irvine, California; nephews, Jesse (Nena) Gary and James (Sherry) Denman; nieces, Julia (Bob) Culbertson and Catherine (Charlie) Thyberg of Des Moines; and other scattered great nephews and nieces.
It was Chuck’s wish that there be no visitation or funeral service. A private graveside service will be held at a later date. Chuck will be buried in the family plot at Masonic Cemetery.
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