Charles "Charlie" R.Hyer, 81, died Dec. 27, in Chandler, following a short illness. He was born Oct. 11, 1923 in San Francisco, Calif.
As a young man, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked on numerous projects in Northern California. During World War II, he served in the Merchant Marines and made numerous trips around the world. After the war, he spent time in New York City where he met his wife Claudia. They married in 1945. The couple returned to San Francisco where he attended aviation mechanics school. Upon completion, he went to work for Southwest Airlines. As a result of numerous mergers, Charlie worked for Airwest, Hughes Airwest, Republic and finally Northwest from which he retired.
After retirement, Mr. Hyer pursued a number of dreams that previously eluded him. His artistic talents were well-known and put to use when was briefly employed as a print advertising artist. His lifetime love of aviation, however, drew him to the restoration of World War I aircraft with Gosshawk Aviation, and Champlin Fighter Museum. He ultimately obtained his private pilot's license and restored his own Cessna 120. His knowledge of vintage aircraft and his artistic skills made him a valuable resource for individuals seeking to restore aircraft throughout the country and Europe.
Mr. Hyer loved people and wanted to be anywhere that men were talking about sailing, aviation, military history or sports. He was an active member of a number of organizations, including Desert Mariners, the Elks, Silver Eagles and the Methodist church. He enjoyed his many friends, and was as true a friend as a person could have.
He is survived by his wife, Claudia; daughters, Helen Schmidt and Pat Perkins; son, William Hyer; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service is at 10 a.m. Jan. 4, 2005 at United Methodist Church, 414 N. Easy St., Payson. A reception will follow at the Payson Elks Club.
Donations can be made to Hospice of the Valley, Dobson House.