Charles Dean Kartchner, 85, reunited with the singular choice of his heart, Joanne Lee Allen Kartchner, on November 18, 2020. Born in Pomerene, Arizona to James Anderson and Lois Martineau Kartchner, Dean was raised in St. David, the third child in a large, supportive family. He shared formative work experiences with his brothers on the family ranch in the Whetstones. Family, faith, work, and a love of the natural world would prove to be constant sources of joy in his life.
Dean further prepared for his life’s work by graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in chemistry, and, soon after, as a newlywed, braved bustling New York City with Joanne to attend Cornell Medical School. While in New York, Dean and Joanne welcomed the first of their children to their family. They saw each of their children as a cherished blessing from God.
Their family continued to grow as Dean served stints in the U. S. Public Health Service before they settled in Benson, Arizona, where Dean worked with his brothers Max and Dale in the Kartchner Clinic, the predecessor to the Benson Hospital. Dean later completed a residency in anesthesiology, and then worked with brothers Max and Paul in practice in Tucson.
He enjoyed working on his farm with his family on his “days off,” and could often be found whistling during projects. And as busy as he was, Dean also made a point to take his children on annual camping trips, including excursions to the nearby Whetstone and Chiricahua mountains. Highlights of family outings included discussion of local flora, fauna, and history.
It was with an equally abiding enthusiasm that Dean helped to carefully explore and document the unknowns of the Xanadu Cave, later renamed the Kartchner Caverns State Park in honor of his father.
Dean served faithfully as bishop of the Pomerene Ward and later as president of the St. David Arizona Stake for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Upon retirement, Dean further served his church as he completed medical missions to Bogota, Colombia and Mexico City, Mexico with his sweetheart, Joanne.
They also relished their opportunity to serve together as temple workers in the Gila Valley Arizona Temple.
His optimistic outlook, quick wit, thoughtfulness, and love of learning and music were readily apparent even near the close of his life.
He leaves behind a posterity grateful for his influence: Brian (Lynda), Wade (Vicky), Milo (Jenny), Dwight (Melissa), Amy (Shayne), Jared (Rae Dawn), Ellen (Reese), Sarah (Michael), Kathryn (Joel), Matthew (Julia), Martha (Brad), Paul (Jeanie), Kristen (Randy), 59 grandchildren, and 50 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at the St. David Arizona Stake building (381 North Pomerene Road), with a viewing at 9 a.m. and funeral at 10 a.m. The Zoom information for the 10 a.m. service is meeting ID: 828 7975 7661; with passcode: 620155. A graveside service and burial will be held on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in the Pomerene cemetery.
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