Charles Leonard Trotter
Charles Leonard Trotter
  • February 3, 1930 - May 17, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Charles "Charlie" Leonard Trotter, 87, died peacefully May 17, 2017, in Houston TX. He was born on February 3, 1930, in Indianapolis IN. With the love of his life, Wilma Bell Trotter, he would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in August. Wilma was always his object of love, respect and kindness.

Charlie had a love of science from an early age and graduated from Butler University (1952) with a BS in Geology, as one of only five students earning magna cum laude. Other honors included memberships in Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi National Scientific Society. He continued his education at Pennsylvania State University in 1953, beginning his PhD studies in Geology-Paleobotany.

This pursuit was interrupted by a two-year deployment with the US Army to Frankfurt, Germany. While serving there, he became fluent in the German language. Returning to civilian life in 1956, Charlie returned to Penn State and in 1957 was employed by Shell Oil Company in the Palynology Department (study of fossilized pollen and spores) while earning his PhD, awarded on June 9, 1963. He retired from Shell Oil Company in 1990.

Known as "The Fox" since childhood, Charlie was quick as a fox both mentally and physically. He was a city-wide recognized track and football athlete in his hometown. He once challenged the Indianapolis bus system to a race to downtown, receiving notoriety in the community for the challenge. His passion for football continued into adulthood by serving as a referee for high school football. "Geezer softball" filled his retirement years, traveling the country with Wilma, playing in tournaments.

For over 45 years, Charlie acted in hundreds of play performances, various films, and multiple Crime-Stoppers videos in the Houston area. He used this talent in church readings and wrote and performed a one-act play "The Star-Cross Auditions". He was a published poet, loved Shakespeare and classic American theater, reprising leading roles in Covington, LA and Houston area theaters.

Devoted to his faith, Charlie along with Wilma are listed as charter members of Northwoods Presbyterian Church and have been continuing members since 1972. He served as an ordained Elder of the Presbyterian Church, USA.

Loved ones who preceded Charlie in death are his parents Homer DeWitt and Dorothy (Williams) Trotter, brother and sister-in-law Carroll and Betty Trotter. He is survived by his wife Wilma; children Marc Trotter (wife Denise) of Tyler TX, Brian Trotter of Houston, Cindy (husband Blair) Garrett of Heath TX; grandchildren Kyle, Lauren, Grant, and Caroline Trotter, Jennifer Garrett (husband Dr. Ken) Benson and Laine Garrett, all who were the light of his life.

During any visit, grandchildren were treated by "Grand-Fox" with new athletic shoes of their choice, taken to the park to run the hill, and a swim in the kiddie pool with his socks on. He sang songs to express his hunger, his love of chocolate, and his love of life. He was immaculate in his documentation of Christmas cards sent and received. Charlie made anyplace he was more alive just because he was there.

Even though Lewy Body Dementia took its toll on his mind and body, he remained very kind and retained his sense of humor through even his last days at Silverado Vintage Memory care. He was considerate, friendly and respectful to all.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Brookside Funeral Home at 3410 FM 1960 Road West, Houston TX 77068. A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held Friday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. at Northwoods Presbyterian Church, 3320 FM 1960 Road West, Houston, TX 77068. A private burial will be at Houston National Cemetery. In memory of Charlie, donations may be made to Northwoods Presbyterian Church or Lewy Body Dementia Association at