Charles A. ‘Chuck’ Vehlow
Feb. 10, 1946 — July 8, 2017

Charles A. ‘Chuck’ VehlowCharles A. “Chuck” Vehlow, son of Arthur W. and Eva M. (Winchell) Vehlow, died peacefully at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., on July 8, 2017.

Born and raised in Waukesha, Chuck distinguished himself during a 46-year career as a military and civilian pilot, aeronautics scholar and professor, and aerospace executive. As an Army combat pilot, he was highly skilled and highly decorated, including the Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Bronze Star. Of his 1,900 hours of military flying, 715 were in combat in Vietnam. Chuck also demonstrated exceptional aeronautics scholarship, first at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering, and then at the United States Military Academy, where he served as an assistant professor of aeronautics. Additionally, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Long Island University; he also graduated from both the United States Army War College and the United States Naval War College.

In aerospace companies, Chuck held top positions, including vice president for the Apache Programs at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Helicopter and vice president and general manager of the Boeing Helicopter Division. In these positions, he was responsible for major defense aviation programs, including the Apache Longbow, Chinook, Comanche and the V-22.
As a commercial pilot and flight instructor, Chuck flew over 3,200 hours in 30 different aircraft and certified 26 private, commercial and instructor pilots. In recognition of his distinguished career, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014.

Chuck graduated from Waukesha South High School in June 1964, ranking academically in the top 5 percent of his class. During his senior year, his school honored him as the top student athlete. Chuck earned eight varsity letters: two in football, three in volleyball, and three in tennis. He captained the undefeated football team that was ranked second in Wisconsin. Chuck engaged in many high school activities, serving as the president of the Student Council, Kiwanis Key Club and Varsity W Club. He attended Badger Boys State as the high school’s delegate. In September 2005, Chuck was inducted into the Waukesha South Wall of Fame.

Chuck’s Army career began when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1968. As a cadet, he served on the prestigious brigade staff and excelled in two intercollegiate sports: squash and tennis. The West Point yearbook cited leadership as “his great ability.”

Chuck was married to his wife of 49 years, Kathryn D. (Katy, “Gigi” Gollwitzer). He was an exemplary role model to their son Peter (Erin) and to their daughter Martha (Andre). He was the proud Papa to five grandchildren: Alex, Mackenzie, and Camryn Vehlow, and Madison and Andrew Dudley. He is also survived by his sister Joanie Vehlow, sisters-in-law Mary Schaefer and Jackie Bartoli, brother-in-law John (Sheila) Gollwitzer, other relatives and many friends.

Christian funeral services, with full military honors, will be held at Shepard of the Desert Lutheran Church, 9590 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260, on Friday, July 14, at 11 a.m. Interment will be at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Shepard of the Desert Lutheran Church (see above for address) and/or the American Cancer Society at N19W24350 Riverwood Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188 ( Please designate “prostate cancer research.”