Charles “Chuck” Edward Delzer, 60, died Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 of heart failure at his home in Spearfish, SD.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the funeral home. Interment will take place at Rosehill Cemetery in Spearfish.
He was born on August 8, 1959 at St Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, SD, to Melvin and Gloria (Cheskey) Delzer. Chuck was one of five children and attended school in Selby, SD, through 5th grade. In 1970, Chuck and his family moved to Rapid City where he graduated from Stevens High School in 1978. Chuck was active in all sports but excelled in track and field and baseball. He played four years with American Legion Post 22 as a starting left-handed pitcher and was a member of the Post 22 team that went to the College World Series in 1977. In his final year, 1978, he was named to the All-State team after posting a 1.86 ERA. He earned a baseball scholarship and played college ball in Southern California at Fullerton and Long Beach State.
After graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in 1983, Chuck returned to Spearfish, SD, where he worked in the family’s construction and agri-businesses. He also owned and operated Northern Hills Racquet Club for several years and fulfilled his penchant for competitive sports by playing regularly in local and regional racquetball tournaments.
In 1988, he sold the racquet club and moved back to Southern California (San Diego) where he worked in real estate. He met Nicole Rudosky during this time and, after dating several years, they were married in Positano, Italy, in 1991. Chuck and Nicole moved to the 76 Ranch just outside of Aladdin, WY, in 1993 where they farmed and raised Black Angus cattle. For several years, Chuck organized and hosted an event that brought his brother and “city” friends from California to the 76 Ranch. The annual roundup and calf-branding was a time for raucous adventures and true friendships that came to be known as “City Slickers”.
Chuck and Nicole spent much of their free time socializing with friends in the Spearfish area. So, in 2000 they purchased a home in the Sandstone subdivision and moved to Spearfish. They enjoyed traveling and were avid golfers at the Spearfish Country Club where they were members. Although the couple divorced in 2001, they remained close friends.
Chuck stayed in Spearfish until 2006 when he bought a home and relocated, along with his mother, Gloria “Muzzie”, back to California (Huntington Beach) near other family members, especially his younger brother, BJ. For the next three years, Chuck’s focus was family, spending most of his time being there for Muzzie. After Muzzie’s death in 2009, Chuck split time between residences in Maui, California and Spearfish.
Chuck’s naturally happy-go-lucky personality endeared him to friends and strangers no matter where he lived. He seemed to always have a big infectious smile which often led people to call him “Smiley”. Chuck was a jokester who loved to tease and displayed a witty sense of humor. He loved spending time on the beaches of Orange County, CA, and Maui where family and friends often gathered for beach volleyball events organized by Chuck and BJ. Although the Delzer family moved from Selby when Chuck was still a child, the friendships that began there stayed with him throughout his life, and he and his brother, BJ, returned there for community reunions and to visit friends and family.
At home in Spearfish, he could often be seen on the golf course or spending time with his older brother, Ross, and his family. Throughout his life, he enjoyed outdoor activities, including golf, tennis, water skiing, snow skiing, biking, and scuba diving. He was an avid sports fan who never tired of cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Twins.
Wherever Chuck lived, there was a piano. Chuck began playing piano when he was eight years old and never stopped. Throughout his life, he spent time writing and playing all genres of music. At gatherings with friends and family, Chuck often spontaneously slid onto the piano bench and began “tickling the ivory” to entertain. In Maui, he would often visit a nearby resort where he played the piano for guests—most of whom never realized Chuck wasn’t a formal entertainer but was only playing for the pure joy of sharing music.
Chuck is survived by his brothers, Roger (Sharon) of Spearfish, Ross (Barb) of Belle Fourche, and Bernard “BJ” (Lauren) of Newport Beach, CA, and 7 nieces and nephews, including Breckyn, Landon and Bria Delzer, Newport Beach, CA; Jill Delzer Larson, Brandon (Lisa) Delzer and Ryan (Anna) Delzer, Spearfish; Randy (Emily) Delzer, Rapid City, SD and Rayce Delzer, Fort Collins, CO.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gloria and Melvin, and his sister, Colleen.
Celebration of Life Service
1:30 P.M. – Saturday – December 14, 2019
Leverington Funeral Home
of the Northern Hills
Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Order of Service
Welcome and Call to Worship - 1 Peter 1:3-5
Hymn - “How Great Thou Art”
Song - “Turn, Turn, Turn”
Scripture Readings - 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 ~ Philippians 4:4-7
Homily - The Rev. Dr. David McNutt
Song - “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”
Given by Matthew Kinney, as written by Bernard Delzer
Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer
Recessional - “Amazing Grace”
James Ackerman John Dady Jeff Dekraai
Jack Lynass Scott Neuhauser Mike Strain
Spearfish, South Dakota
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