Charles Eugene Love died peacefully Feb. 10 at the age of 92.
Love was born to Charles Love and Grace Ethel (Walsh) Love on Oct. 29, 1920. He grew up in Alameda, Calif. and displayed his gifts of creativity, intelligence and scientific curiosity at an early age. One favorite family story recounts how at 13 years old, he built and operated his own ham radio. Enthused with the world of technology and engineering, yet too young to drive, he would walk around eight miles from his home to Oakland’s Tech High every week to participate in the local Amateur Radio Club.
Love attended UC Berkeley from 1938 to 1942, where he met and fell in love with Holly Emberg, the woman with whom he spent the rest of his life. The couple married on Nov. 9, 1943, just before Love enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his country during WWII. Recognizing Love’s talents, the Armed Forces sent him to MIT, Yale and Harvard to study the then-emerging field of radar and infrared technology. It was during this time that Love had the opportunity to crew one of the first aircraft surveys of Antarctica.
After the war, Love worked for Hughes Aircraft Company, furthering the field of aerospace technology. There was always an element of intrigue surrounding Love’s career, as his projects were usually slated as classified. He wasn’t allowed to discuss his work with anyone, including his wife, and stories of working in a “locked vault” kept his family’s imagination spinning.
In 1959, Love and Holly made a home for their family atop a hill in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was here they raised two children, Martin and Janice.
“Charlie was a humble man and would never boast of his accomplishments, but we all knew they were far and great,” Love’s family wrote. “He had a quiet wit that could crack up a room, but he was also tender and thoughtful and always generous with his affection.”
Love had many hobbies as well. He played the piano, crafted jewelry, built his own television and ran the LA Marathon as a senior.
Love often read novels aloud to his wife and finished most dinners with a bowl of ice cream. He loved math puzzles, mysteries, nature, chocolate, Mexican beer and, above all else, his family and friends.
Love is survived by his wife, Holly; his son, Martin and his partner Pat; his daughter, Janice and her husband, Keith; his grandchildren, Allie and her husband, Arthur, Leslie, Sarah and Emma; his great grandchildren, Jack and Reddman and countless friends.