Jan. 25, 2001 Charleston Kanawha County West Virginia, USA
Source:U.S. Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection Charleston, WV
Charley Mack Amspoker, 53, of Charleston died from complications of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at home in the presence of his devoted wife and friends. Born January 29, 1957, in Columbus, Ohio, Charley was the son of Anne Amspoker and the late James Amspoker of Pinehurst, North Carolina. Charley's family moved to Charleston in 1973. Charley attended George Washington High School, graduating in 1975. He completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in geology and classical civilizations at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, in 1980. In 1982 he received his MBA from the University of Denver with a concentration in energy resource management. Charley started working for the Columbia Gas System as a summer intern in 1977 in the areas of field operations, geology and geophysics. He was hired as a full time employee in 1983 as a special projects engineer and enjoyed more than a 20-year career that ended when his position was eliminated due to downsizing. Charley was a member of the Columbia Gas Bowling Team and GASCO Club. Charley began a new career with McJunkin Red Man Corporation (MRC) in 2004 in the Inventory Logistics department as an analyst. Given a second chance at a great career with a wonderful company, Charley loved his job and the people he worked with. However, his happiness was short-lived when he was diagnosed with ALS in January 2009 and had to stop working in June 2009. This disease quickly took away his independence and he soon needed to rely on the help and generosity of others to fulfill his job. Because Charley wanted to work as long as he could, his MRC co-workers were more than willing to do whatever it took to help him continue working. Feeling as though he was utilizing too much employees' time, he made the very difficult decision to end his employment and begin dealing with the changes that having ALS would bring to his life. Because of the progressive form of ALS that Charley had, he quickly lost the use of his legs, arms, hands, fingers and feet; and before he could adapt to the loss of his extremities, he started losing his ability to speak, with swallowing and breathing getting more and more difficult. Charley never stopped praying for a miracle. Although this horrible disease made it hard for him to get out of bed and made him totally dependent on others to start a new day, he did it anyway! Even though his condition continued to worsen, his mind and spirit remained strong throughout. Charley always had a smile to share with everyone. When he could no longer speak, his beautiful eyes and smile spoke for him. He is survived by his wife, Janice Loraine (Chapman) Amspoker; his stepson, Mason Wines; and his beloved dog, Kirby Mack Amspoker, all of Charleston; his mother, Anne Amspoker and her partner, Michael Ricciardi, of Pinehurst, N.C.; his sister and brother-in-law, Stephanie and Clifford Overby of Fayetteville, N.C.; aunt, Harriet Huffman of Tacoma, Wash.; brothers, Morris Chapman, Jr. and wife, Carole, of Elkhart, Ind, Gary Chapman, Mark Chapman, Philip Chapman and wife, Renee, Kenneth Chapman and wife, Sandra, Keith Chapman and wife, Jill, sister, Barbara (Chapman) Cochran and husband, Matthew Cochran; 15 loving nieces and nephews; best and lifelong friend, Charlie Perdue; and special loving friends, Eva and Francis Perdue, Richard and Joanna Dunlap, John and Jo Ellen Yeary, Mary Ann and Ed Fox, Beth Morrison, Matt Miller, Georzetta Ratcliffe, Ken Connelly, Martha Giltinan, Richie Harper, Susan Hilger, Zach Nicholas and many others too numerous to list. A celebration of Charley's life will be held on what would have been his 54th birthday, Saturday, January 29, at Winfield Baptist Church, 3632 Winfield Road, Winfield, with Pastor David Johns of Winfield Baptist Church and Pastor David Jones of Bible Center Church officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the celebration/memorial starting at 1 p.m. Keller Funeral Home and Winfield Baptist Church are in charge of arrangements. The family wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation to Charley's faithful caregiver, Olga Pearson, and all other caregivers, including those at HospiceCare, and the Hubbard House staff, hospice nurse, Amanda Joyce, and social worker, Sue Ann Boldaras. Also, special thanks go to Dr. Laurie Gutmann and all other specialists and staff at the ALS Multi-disciplinary clinic in Morgantown; local doctors, Thomas Linger, Darshan Dave, Walter Ramsey and Paul Casingal; dentist, Dr. David Pearcy, and dental hygienist, Jackie Birurakis; Hairways hairdresser, Becky Russell; Advanced Medical Supply owner, David Roush; and Abbey McIntyre and Natalie Goodyear from MDA, for their loving, kind, considerate and supportive care. All of your efforts to make life as easy and comfortable as possible for Charley turned out to be God's answer to his prayers for a miracle. Instead of one big miracle, God sent him many miracles through each of you. Thank you! In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to United Way of Central West Virginia.