Charles A. "Chuck" Bechtol Born in Covina, CA, on October 21, 1958, passed away unexpectedly January 15, 2008 at his Alhambra home. Chuck lived in San Pedro for most of his life, graduating from Dana Jr. High and San Pedro High Schools; he received his B.A. from Excelsior College in New York. Chuck worked for the Los Angeles County Probation Department for some years, then left the County to begin social work with an agency providing assistance in daily living for persons with disabilities. Chuck is survived by his wife, Mei Zhu of Alhambra, his parents, Gilbert and Mary Ellen Bechtol of San Pedro, his sisters Nancy (Dean) Andrews of San Pedro, Helen (Kim) Jensen of El Paso, TX, Jean (Greg) Brooks of Truckee, CA, Karen (George) Rich of Charlottesville, VA, Marian (Tony) Stavros of San Pedro, and brother, John (Marta) of Madison, WI, as well as 17 nieces and nephews. He especially enjoyed our family gatherings; his humor and outlook on life will be missed by his family and friends. Visitation will be Sunday, January 20th at McCormick Mortuary in Redondo Beach, Funeral Mass at Holy Trinity Church on Monday, January 21st at 10:00. Interment will be private.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. Marian and family, Deepest sympathy to you and all of your loved ones regarding the loss of your brother, Charles. I was so sorry to hear about this. We may be many miles apart but you are very near and dear to me and I want you to know that i’m here for you. You’re very much on my mind, in my heart and prayers. I love you dear friend, Margaret and Troldahl Family of Eden Prairie

  2. Nancy and family, Our hearts go out to you and all of your family at this sad time! So sorry to hear of the loss of your brother and uncle. We pray that God will find a way to comfort you at this time through your family,friends and neighbors. Love and prayers, Martha, Bruce and family

  3. Marian and family, I’d like to express my sincere sympathy for your loss. You will be in my thoughts during this difficult time. Love, Luann

  4. John, Mrs. Bechtol, and family, I was so sorry to read about Charles. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. My thoughts are with you. Love, Debbie

  5. It is with a sad heart I heard the news about Chuck’s unexpected passing. I have SO many fond memories of growing up with Chuck: playing basketball, sleepovers, deliveries the Hearld Examiner on Sundays at 5am… He will be missed but I pray he is in a better place now. He and the Bechtol family are in my prayers!

  6. My beloved Chuck, I am so sad and in a great shock that you left this way without saying goodbye. Nevertheless I believe that at this moment you are in God€™s hand and in good peace; leaving the worries of the world we live in behind, and looking us from heaven with your always sincere and mischief smile. I am so blessed to have met you seven years ago. Since then we understood each other better, appreciate and love as husband and wife. We all learned a lot from the last past seven years of our marriage: to be patient, to tolerate, to communicate and to be understanding. Do you remember I told you I was deeply touched by the massage from the Bible. €œ1 CORINTHIANS 13:4 when I first read it: €œLove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.€ That was our goal to reach and we had been working on the homework of marriage together ever since. Chuck, you are such an easy-going, passionate, and likable person. You always took interests in learning new things and wanted to know more about what the world could become in the future. You loved to talk about history, different cultures and languges (Chinese), the nature and animals and you always wanted to share what you had learned. You are finaly get your college graduation in this period. I have not seen many people like you: with a super good sense of humor and can laugh at yourself to get off the embarrassing situations. This is why the family, the friends, and myself liked being with you. I often think that your lovable personality was from your big family. You loved your parents, wife, brother, sisters, nephews and nieces so dearly because you were from a family that was always surrounded with love. I was very impressed that you are such a family oriented person during the past seven years of our marriage life. I still recall the first time you brought me to your parents€™ house. It was my first Christmas Day in the States and I got so moved by the lovely and joyful atmosphere of how you and your family showed love to each other. You knew well that I am from a very different cultural background; the way of showing our love to family back home in China is never to be explicit like American family. I am always so grateful that you shared the love of the big family with me. We both learned a lot from the strong family bond: to love and care, respect and appreciate. Chuck, I have so much memories of being with you and your family. You spoke of how important your family is to you so many times. I know you always had a great time when we spent the holidays in Nancy and Dean€™s, Mom and Dad’s, Marian and Tony’s house and I am so thankful to them to have given you such lovely times there. We both know that we relied on Nancy a lot when we faced the obstacles of our marriage life; we could never thank her enough for being so supportive and being such a good listener. Chuck, I am very happy that you were deeply loved by your family. You were so fond of the kids of your sisters, Ellen, Emily, Paul, Karen, Amy, Christina, Kandas, Timmy and others whoes living other state and I am sure that they love to you to dearly too. Your Mom and Dad, your Nancy, Helen, Jean, Karen, Marian, your brother John gave you the best time of childhood. They had given you the most likeable personalities by dearly loving you, and I am the luckiest person in the world to have had you. To live, laugh, and love, I see it in you. I see you as a gift to me from God; I see you as a gift from your wonderful family. You did not give me any precautions, Chuck. Your leaving is such a great shock to me and all of the family, friends. You were too young to leave the world and us behind. I am now in an unbearable pain and cannot imagine how my life would go on without you. Without you warming my heart as you always did. God has laid the path for you, Chuck. Although it is still very difficult for me to accept the loss of you, I do believe that this was probably the best arrangement by the God. It was HIS grace that you did not suffer too long before going to HIS arms. Thinking of you might be suffering to have gone to the path would stop my heart too. And I do believe that we are just a temporary separated now, we will be met each other and got reunion again someday. Chuck, leave in peace. We will pray for you. Do not forget that we love you dearly and you were also deeply loved by your family and friends. Your beloved wife, Zhu Mei

  7. 19 January 2008 Dearest Mei, Thank you greatly for sending me this sad and very unfortunate notice. I’m very sad for your loss, and yes, I, too, loved Charles (Chuck) very dearly, as a most close, close personal friend for many years. I wish I had some pictures of Chuck but I don’t and yes, we would greatly appreciate being sent a DVD, address included below. Also thank you for telling me that Chuck spoke of our friendship. Indeed we were very, very close friends, especially during our high school years and during our trip together in 1976 when we traveled and toured the United States and visited the Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. Chuck and I were the greatest of friends all throughout high school at San Pedro High and to the extent that we could, afterwards, though separated by distance as we attended different colleges. At San Pedro High we went everywhere together whilst in school, and shared innumerous experiences, both the fun types and the trying types. I’m not exactly sure how we connected. Most likely it was because we each sat next to each other in Beginning French class in our first year at San Pedro High as Sophmores. We both struggled with attempting to learn the language in a classroom setting, and we likely co-attracted magnetically due to our co-misery in the ‘foreign’ situation and the fact that neither of us was doing very well in the course. We both greatly feared being called up to the teacher’s desk after class when she added notes onto our returned low grade papers, stating “See Me Please”. It became a constant joke for Chuck and I to remind and threaten each other with, “See Me Please”. After this bonding, Chuck and I experienced our Sophmore, Junior, and Senior years together at San Pedro High (which only has the three years), constantly communicating and sharing our adolescent-maturing experiences via very open communications with each other and attempting our best at telling each other what circumstances we were experiencing, such as close high school buddies do. We attended school events together. We were best-of-friends/partners; we were back ups to each other; we heard and shared each others’ tragedies, and celebrated each others’ triumphs. By our Senior year, we had developed a dream of leading a group of high school students from LA to Montreal for the 1976 Olympic Games. We tried to organize such a group. However, what began as a group, whittled down to Chuck and I, which turned out to be just fine. I hope he told you about this trip. It was wonderful. When started, I was eighteen and Chuck seventeen but I think his birthday turned while we were on the trip? Together we traveled in a small, but roomy for two, and gas-efficient metallic green Ford Pinto station wagon which had a roof rack. We roped our bicycles onto the roof rack to use whenever we were stopped somewhere and when we wanted to save on gas and just cruise the area. Our bags took up all of the back seat area and Chuck and I shared the driving for the trip. Bound for both Montreal and for the U.S. East Coast, Chuck and I headed north along the California coast. Within California we greatly enjoyed the coastal trip northwards all of the ways toward Highway 299, which was the turn eastwards. My then planned college-to-be Humboldt State was just close by, just north of Eureka and Chuck and I and several close high school buddies had visited it the previous Spring vacation break. We revisited it during our summer trip with Chuck and it was then that I decided definitely to return there for college. We got stuck for a weekend near to the college around the fourth of July when the car broke down and we had to wait for parts. We headed east through Nevada and on to Utah to visit his sister who was attending college in Salt Lake City. Then we traveled over the Rocky Mountains and visited the great natural parks of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. Yellowstone was our favorite and the Grand Tetons were spectacular, as was all of Montana. In South Dakota we saw the natural badlands area and visited the monument with the four Presidents carved into the mountain (I can’t recall the name). We stayed at camp grounds most all of the time and lived life on the cheap and free as best we could, biking around everywhere near the campgrounds. We had a campfire pretty much every night and sat and swapped stories and adventures until we pretty much memorized each others’ thoughts and eventually didn’t need afterwards to speak in order to communicate. Ultimately we made our way up to Canada through Toronto and then to Montreal. It was a great learning and exploring experience and a multicultural one as well. We got stopped at the border by guards who didn’t think we had enough money to go on but eventually they let us through and recommended a campsite on an island just outside of Montreal. Afterwards we traveled down to Pennsylvania for the then being celebrated BiCentennial events and where my family was from originally, though I hadn’t met most all of them since my father and mother and our family had moved away from there to LA many years earlier. We toured the city, as other places, on our two bicycles. I can remember clearly the rumbling feeling as we drove over the cobble stone brick streets of downtown Philadelphia. We visited the main sites and touched the Liberty Bell within Independence Hall. We pretty much ran very low on funds by then, both had to get back for college, and decided to travel as quick as possible nonstop driving back to LA after a short side trip to New York City, where my father was for a business trip. We shared the driving as always but now it was one person driving while the other was asleep in the back of the car pretty much nonstop. We couldn’t even afford to stop and pay the campground fees. Through Ohio (where I think we still have a speeding ticket somewhere on their records, can’t remember which of us was driving), Indiana, Illinois (a stop and visit to another home area I used to live at near Chicago, doing our laundry at a neighbor who used to know me when I was then 7 years old), through Missouri, Kansas (seeing fantastic cumulonimbus thunderclouds from a distance, sending lightning bolts to the ground), over the Rockies again in Colorado, Utah again to see his sister, and then down through Las Vegas and Nevada, (oversaw the Grand Canyon), and back to LA. We arrived with about $50 left between us and less than a quarter tank of gas. As you can see I have very fond memories and I’m sure Charles held these too, all of his rich life. They will certainly stay with me always. When Chuck honored me by tracking me down recently to invite me to be the best man for your wedding, I hope you can understand that I would have loved to have had the chance to come, but the distance and cost was just too great for our family at the time. I was very please to hear that he had met and fell in love with you and for the short time you had together as a couple, I’m certain you brought great joy to his life. Please feel free to share this email with Chuck’s family and friends. I miss him greatly but as I said, he will always be in my heart and memories. Again, my deepest sympathies. Sincerely, John Furey Saipan, MP 96950

  8. Chuck, ž›Ž€™„š„›ŽŽ†ˆ‘“ˆŒ˜œŠ‡Š‰œŒ†”……€™µ–š„€ˆ‡Œœ‚œ‹‘—ˆ‘€‘Œ‘—‚€€‘šˆœš„‘Ž ˆ‘ž‹œœƒ‰‡‹†Œ€Œ›Œ›ƒœŒ›„›ŒŽˆ€µƒŽ€‡µš„—Žˆ‘€‘ƒ’›œ€™ƒˆœˆ†š›œƒ€ƒ’ŒŒ…Œ’’Œ€šŽ‚œ‰€€ˆŒž—š‰›š„€µš€œ„›˜†…š„€ˆœ‰…ˆŒ„›˜‰’Œ„›˜‡‡Œµ‹‚Œšˆœš„‹Œ‚‡š„›Š™•Œ•˜“™€’Œˆƒš„ƒŒ›€Œ‚Œƒˆ‡œ†Œ‚Œ‡‹Œ…Œ‡‹›Œ‡‹›œ›Œ‡‹€€ˆŒž—š‰›‰››€‰Žˆ‘‰“‹•Œ‚›™Œ†šˆ‘€†šš„ŠŽ ChuckŒ˜€€‹€™›™•”†ƒ…‡š„Ž˜–‡’Œœš„‹Œ‘—’š„ˆˆŽŒš…ƒ–‡Œ–Œ‡„ˆ‡‹•‰”…‹ŒžœŽ‚–Œ˜‚„’Œœ‹‹Šˆ†…‰€ƒ—ŽŒ™‚˜€™€‹…œ‰˜„š„Œ–„–‡˜Œ›šœ‹‹ƒ–œ’Œœ€µŽˆ‘–œ–‡™‚š„š›ˆ‘ƒµ–Šˆ‘€œœ…€‚™‚š„€…”€Ž ˆ‘ˆ˜ˆˆ˜€€‹ˆœ‰€µš„Œ„›ˆŒŒ…„Š”Žˆ‘ƒ€™˜›‚‡”œ€€‹……„›š„Œœ‰…–…€‹…„š„œžŽˆ‘˜—€ˆ‘›žˆš„ƒ…™›‚˜ˆ‘†ŽŒš„€€‹–”€Ž’Œš„’‹•ƒ…“ˆ‘ž„‹•Ž“ˆ‘”•œ–‡Œ–™››Œš„œ‹Œˆ‘€‘œ‹œš„„››–„œœŠ€‡ž…–‚Žš„……ƒŽšš„ƒ…”Œ›’—œƒŒ›’™ŒŠ•ˆŒˆ„›Œ–ž–Ž’Œ”š„ƒŒ„“ˆ‘Œ™‚—ˆ†€™‹‡–”ƒ…š„„›Ž NancyŠDeanœš„”‰”†ž‡š„’‰Žœ‚Ž†š„‰€Œ”Žš„€—™‚…‰Ž…NancyŒ™‚œˆ‘€‘š„š”ˆ†ˆ‡š„Œˆ‘ˆ„Š…–š„µˆ‘€‘š„”ŒŽ‚„œ‰Marian’ŒTonyš„ŒŠ‰ˆ–œš„…’Ellen, Emily, Paul, Karen, Amy, Christine, Kandas’ŒTimmyŒ„š„…„Helen, Jean, Karen, JohnŠ„–€‘„‡š„µšš„‚Š„››„–€‘œˆ‘€‘œ€„›š„™‚€™‡Žˆ‰‹Ž ChuckŒ‹™„Œ‚š„ˆ‘ŠŒœ‹‹ƒ„•š„„›–Š‘Š€ŒˆŽ‚„€™•Œˆ‘€‘š„”‰µ†€ŠŽ›–„•ˆ‘Š‘—††š„”Œ†ˆ‘˜›€™˜š„…Œ’œ‰“•™‚–“‰——…—›š„Š˜Œœ™‚–“›ž–Šš„‡ŠŽ Šˆ‘€‘œ€™‘‘ŠˆŒŒ™‚‘Šˆ‚š‚ˆœ‚‘—‚€Šˆ’œ•†š„‘Œœˆ‰µˆ‘€‘‰€œ‰„›š„Ž „› œ… €€€€ –01-19-2008

  9. Dear Marian and family, I was so very saddened by the news of Chuck’s passing. I have many fond memories of the Bechtol’s loving home and family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, Lisa Jokanovich Norling

  10. Dear Mei It was a profound shock and sorrow that we heard of the death of Chuck.Please accept sympathy of myself personally.He was a fine and brilliant man and we believe he will not soon be forgotten by the many who admired and repected him. May God bless you and give you comfort in this difficult time.He will live forever in ourhearts. your families Jan,23th,2008 Xinjiang,China

  11. We wish too express our deepest sympathy to the Bechtol Family during the loss of your loved one. Please know that our prayers and thoughts are with you during this time of grief and sorrow. He will be truly missed.

  12. I am so sorry for the loss that your family has had to suffer. My dad also died on January 15th and I loved him so much. Thinking of you and your brother! Andi

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook