June 7, 1934 – April 14, 2022
Charles Greenhill was born to the late Hy and Frieda Greenhill, in Chicago, IL on June 7, 1934. He graduated from Lane Tech with a certificate as a Tool and Die Maker and later went on to partner with his father and brother, Sheldon to purchase Smalley Steel Ring Company in 1963. After the passing of his father and brother, Charles, better known as Chuck to his family and friends, continued the Smalley legacy with his two nephews Michael and Mark Greenhill. Chuck invented the wave spring and other types of springs steel rings that are commonly used today. After graduating Chuck was drafted and served two years in the Army. During his time in the Army, he was stationed in Germany.
Chuck always felt blessed to be able to pursue his passion for airplanes and flying and obtained his pilot license at the age of 40. With his love for WWII airplanes, he began collecting and restoring them so he too could fly them. He was also a supporter of the Naval Museum Foundation and helped restore multiple WWII aircraft that are now on display in different museums around the world. He felt a special sense of accomplishment to have been able to restore a 1939 Grumman Duck J2F-4 that was stationed at Pearl Harbor and rescued many servicemen on December 7, 1941. Over the years Chuck became not only an accomplished airplane pilot but also loved to fly helicopters.
Chuck was revered very highly in the Warbird Community and was a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) for more than 30 years. He had also loved putting together model airplanes since he was very young and continued to build them and fly them throughout his life up until last year. He was also a member of the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics). Chuck had many aircraft over the years and was especially fond of his P51’s Lou IV and Geraldine along with his 1942 Grumman Goose.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Lisa; his children Stacey, Tammy, Steven, Melanie, Mark and Jack; his grandchildren Paul, Moriah, Jennifer, Eric, Kyra, Kyle, Liam and Atticus. He is preceded in death by his first wife Beverlee, his brother Sheldon and his parents.
Visitation will be held on May 1st from 2:00PM to 5:00PM at Hamsher Lakeside Funeral Home located at 12 N Pistakee Lake Rd, Fox Lake, IL 60020. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at Chuck’s Airplane Hangar.