Charles "Chuck" Cordes
December 28, 1941 - May 9, 2017

Charles "Chuck" Cordes
Dec 28, 1941 - May 9, 2017

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Charles "Chuck" Anthony Cordes, 75 of Winona, died Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.
Chuck was born December 28, 1941 in Winona to Melvin and Grace Cordes. He graduated from Winona Senior High School and attended Winona State University. Chuck served his country in the United States Army for 20 years before retiring in 1982 as a Master Sergeant. He served in Vietnam and was also stationed in Germany and Anchorage, Alaska. Throughout his service, he was awarded numerous medals, including the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (Unit) with palm, Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 oak leaf cluster), Humanitarian Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal (6 awards). On June 16, 1987, Chuck married Betty Chapman. He worked for St. Mary's Press and the Winona Daily News and La Crosse Tribune. He and Betty owned Winona Laser Type for 10+ years.
Chuck was a member of the VFW Post 1287 and was currently serving as the Quarter Master.
He and Betty enjoyed traveling, motorcycle trips and winters down south.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Betty; two daughters, Susie (Scott) Smythe of Anchorage, Alaska and Kim (Brad Fakler) Morphew of Winona; one granddaughter, Sophia Smythe of Anchorage, Alaska; and his four-legged companion, Snickers.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son, George Cordes.
Memorial Service will 5 p.m., Monday, May 15, 2017 at Hoff Celebration of Life Center - Goodview, led by Funeral Celebrant Jodi Heim. Visitation will be 4 p.m. until the time of the service. Military Honors will be provided by the VFW Post 1287. It would be important to Chuck that everyone dress casually and comfortably. Chuck will be laid to rest at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery - Preston.
Please share a memory of Chuck and sign his online guestbook at

Jennifer Elliott on May 15, 2017

"Weather map is done, Princess!" Five words that made me smile during my years at the La Crosse Tribune. Thank you, Chuck Cordes, for catching my mistakes, reminding me of the deadline, and making me laugh.

Dian Gappa on May 15, 2017

Dear Betty & family...I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are feeling. May God comfort you with His great love. Your many memories of life with Chuck will help you smile and have peace. Sincerely...

Susie Smythe on May 15, 2017

Love and miss you Dad. His daughter's name (me) is actually Susie Smythe (Cordes) and his grandaughter's name is Sophia Smythe.

Emma Hill on May 13, 2017

Alice Topness sends her condolences to Betty.

Carol Shimshak on May 13, 2017

Chuck, Betty and Snickers brought me joy whenever I saw them. Chuck loved his family, and Snickers had a very special place in his very big heart. He will be missed. Carol S.

Karen Edwards on May 13, 2017

I remember the fun times we all had at the roller rink when we were kids. Charlie was a GREAT scater.

Jo Kaehler Lee on May 12, 2017

My heart goes out to Betty and the family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.. Tom & Jo Lee

Perry & Marte on May 11, 2017

Our prayers are with the family. Perry & Marte


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