Charles Doud | Obituary

Charles O’Reilly Doud

Charles O’Reilly Doud, patriarch, husband, father, grandfather, cowboy, and friend to many, passed away in the early morning of March 18, 2021, surrounded by his wife Anne and extensive family at their residence in La Cañada, CA.
Known more affectionately by family and friends as Charlie, Chuck, Gertrude, No-Neck, Oso or nicknames not fit to print here, he was a gentle bear of a man, larger than life with a smile that welcomed all whom he met and an all-enveloping handshake that tested one’s threshold for pain and endurance.
Charlie was born in Oxnard, CA, on January 21, 1932, to parents J. Robert and Laura Doud, and grew up with siblings Jim, Geraldine, and Sally and many Doud and McGrath cousins in the Oxnard area. A gifted athlete, Charlie attended Villanova Prep in Ojai where he became an outstanding lineman and exemplary teammate.
Chuck’s dream was to play football at the University of Notre Dame under Coach Frank Leahy and he got that chance as a walk-on in the fall of 1949. He played for the Fighting Irish for two years but was unable to obtain a scholarship, which made it difficult for his hardworking farming family. However, Chuck got the attention of UCLA’s Coach Red Sanders, who was more sympathetic to his scholarship needs. Chuck ultimately finished his college career as a Bruin and led his team as co-captain in the 1954 Rose Bowl between UCLA and Michigan State. In subsequent years, he would often replay that game at home in the hopes of a different outcome for the Bruins. Chuck remained both a lifelong UCLA and Notre Dame supporter. He once attended a Notre Dame banquet in San Francisco where Frank Leahy was the keynote speaker. After Coach Leahy recounted his career at Notre Dame, he singled out Chuck from the audience and said, “If there’s one regret I have while coaching at Notre Dame, it’s not securing a scholarship for Chuck Doud.” Chuck received a standing ovation that night.
After UCLA, Charlie spent four years in the Air Force. While training to be a pilot, he served as an upperclassman for the newly formed Air Force Academy in Denver, Colorado. He was later stationed at Hamilton Army Airfield in Marin, California, and competed as a player/coach for the Air Force’s inter-military football team. As a pilot, he flew the F-86 D and the F-104 jets. He served in the Air Force Reserves until 1970 and was decommissioned at the rank of Captain.
Charlie’s life changed forever when he met Anne Van Lahr at a 49ers football game in October of 1957. Anne was smitten by Charlie in his Air Force uniform and a courtship quickly ensued. Charlie knew Anne would be the love of his life and asked for her hand in marriage a short three months after they met. They wed the next October in 29 Palms, CA at Blessed Sacrament Church. The union represented the merging of two great Southern California clans, the Johansing’s and McGrath’s.
Charlie had a successful career as a stockbroker at firms including Lawson, Levy, Williams & Stern, Lehman Brothers, Crowell Weedon, and finished his career at Whittier Trust. Chuck was a staple downtown and remained an active member of the California Club and the LAAC. He was named honorary Sergeant of Arms of The Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
His love of sports extended to coaching for the La Cañada Gladiators Pop Warner football program for 15 years. Together with Anne, the couple were a constant support at their children and grandchildren’s sporting events. No distance was too far, they would always be there, cheering from the stands.
When not working or at home, Chuck’s favorite place to be was the Saddle & Sirloin Club. He loved roping, riding, and spending time with his fellow cowboys. He served as President of Rancheros Visitadores and was an esteemed and lifelong member of the Adolfo Camp and Rancheros Adolfo. His weeklong pilgrimage to Janeway was an event he cherished every year.
Charlie and Anne have been members of St. Bede’s Parish for over sixty years. Charlie had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, and would regularly ask Our Lady to intercede for his special intentions. Charlie would often recount that it was Mary who led him to Anne. He continued his devotion to Mary, inspiring countless others along the way.
A man of mythic proportions, he had a bone-crushing handshake, barrel chest and some might say no neck. But the truest part of Charlie was his heart, one so big it’s hard to imagine it being contained. It never filled up, there was always room for more. Reflecting upon her marriage of sixty-two years, Anne commented that there was not one second she doubted Charlie’s love for her. Few are lucky to count on love so absolute, so resolute.
Charlie was a man who inspired others with his endless charm, infectious smile, and selfless heart. He had that rare ability to grow confidence in a person and encourage their success. A man whose kindness did not know boundaries, he showed up, put others before himself, and treasured family and faith above all else. To say he will be missed is inadequate, perfunctory.
Charlie is predeceased by his brother James Doud, sisters Geraldine Morris and Sally Fitzpatrick, and grandson Conal Harris. He is survived by his wife Anne, children Reilly (John) Harris, Robert (Stephanie) Doud, Stacy (Richard) Hamilton, Tom (Michele) Doud, Patrick (Maggie) Doud, Peter Doud, Mary Bridget (Joshua) Leopold, Liz (Toby) Werk, twenty grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Vaya con Dios, Enrique Tamayo!
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