It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles L. Wharton Jr., 89, better known to all that were lucky enough to know and love him as Chuck. Chuck was not only a devoted husband and father but a wonderful and tireless leader to those who worked with him from his workplace of Lockheed Martin to his beloved breeding farm for Trakehner horses, Lancaster Oaks in Woodstock, GA.
In 1977, Chuck, along with his wife Danny and daughter Laura, began a journey to develop a top class breeding and training facility for Trakehner horses in Georgia when the Warmblood craze was just taking root in the U.S. and with that vision, Lancaster Oaks was born. Not only was Chuck's vision of promoting the Trakehner breed realized, but it went above, with the many successful Championship homebreds that they produced and he also bred, not one, but two approved stallions - Justiz and Favian that both earned the performance title of *Ps*!
Chuck was also deeply passionate about the grass roots effort to support the sport of dressage. The Wharton family worked tirelessly to promote dressage with Chuck. He not only became President of the Georgia Dressage & Combined Training Association, but also the American Trakehner Association as well lending his devotion, guidance and passion to what he truly loved. Along with his wife, Danette, he earned the 2003 Good Horseman’s Breeders Award which is given for exemplary service to the association for promoting dressage. A great honor for such a great man.
Those who knew him will remember how he would work all day at his full time job, until retirement, and then be out at the barn to see what needed to be done to help support his daughter, his horses, and extended family - which meant anyone who was lucky enough to be part of his Lancaster Oaks family.
Mr. Wharton was employed by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for over thirty-six years as an engineer subsequent to receiving his Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering degree for the Georgia Institute of Technology. While at Lockheed his last assignment was the Deputy Project Engineer for Structures on the C-5B aircraft.
Mr. Wharton was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Danette Rutledge Wharton, his eldest son, Daniel Lancaster Wharton, his mother Laura Warren Wharton, and his father, Charles Lancaster Wharton, Sr. He is survived by a sister Laura McCullough, of Duluth, Georgia, a son, Jeffrey Charles Wharton of Greenville, South Carolina, a daughter, Laura Wharton-Mero, of Acworth, Georgia, three grandchildren, Ashley Swann of Greenville, South Carolina, Jessica Hellrung of St. Augustine, Florida, Jeffrey Alexander Wharton of Charleston, South Carolina, four great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Chuck is a World War II Veteran and served our country with pride as an active duty member of the U.S. Navy for 5 years and an additional 10 years as an active duty reservist and we thank him for his duty.
Graveside services will be conducted at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, Georgia on November 19.
Chuck - you will be deeply missed, always treasured and fondly remembered.
In Lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Cherokee County Humane Society of Georgia to honor Chuck's memory.