Remembering Chuck Mullenweg

You can find a number of photos of Chuck here. We’re looking for more and will continue to update that page as we find them.

A beautiful service was held on April 23rd, where many of his friends and family mourned and celebrated his life.

If you have any stories or memories of Chuck that you’d like to share, please leave them below.

55 thoughts on “Remembering Chuck Mullenweg

  1. Our sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this very sad time.

    — Lisa and Howard Goldman

  2. We are so sorry to hear about Chuck passing away.
    We lived on Creekbend directly behind the Mullenweg family in Willowbend and our beagle enjoyed harassing your turtle. We send our sincere condolences. Our son, Josh Mease, knew Charleen and Matt.

    Dede and Frank Mease

  3. Dry humor, that is what I remember most about Chuck. I still tell the story, now 30 years later, of a family get together where Aunt Dede brought chocolate chip cookies. Now Aunt Dede was a child of the Depression and was frugal to say the least. Chuck picked up a cookie, took a bite, slowly turned to all in the room and announced “I got THE chip.”
    Rest in peace.

  4. I never had the pleasure of meeting Chuck, but I feel like I have after reading that beautiful tribute. What I do know is how much his son loved him. And that lucky for us, his son is made up of the fibers and DNA and careful loving thought and intention that made Chuck who he was, and this magic will live on in his son’s heart forever. For that I am grateful. I plan to keep getting to know to know Chuck story by story, memory by memory. Starting with Colonel Sanders, the Coastal Conservation Association, Asimov’s Foundation Triology…and many more to come. Sending love and prayers to Matt, Charleen, Mrs. Mullenweg, the extended Mullenweg family and to everyone that this special soul touched in his time on earth. It’s clear that his life was lived with such great purpose, and that his legacy will live on through each of you.

  5. First our condolences to the family. What I recall most about Chuck was his willingness to help. He not only helped me with my work but would challenge me bringing up different scenarios to make me think deeper. His willingness to help played a roll in my professional success. Another thing I recall is his smile. You could never tell if he was having a bad day because he would greet you with a smile. Yes that smile is what I will miss the most. May God give the family the strength to continue to move forward while holding on to the memories.

  6. I met him briefly several years ago in San Francisco. He was wonderfully pleasant, friendly, kind, and more than anything, he was so obviously incredibly proud of you. And even in that short acquaintance, I could easily tell that’s what meant the world to him. My family’s condolences for your loss.

  7. My memory of Chuck is that he was thoughtful, deeply kind, and fiercely proud of you. He offered sound advice. He seemed really happy! I like all of those things so much, and he will be greatly missed.

  8. Since Chuck’s passing I have been struggling to put my thoughts of him into words and failing. He was my best friend, I loved him like a brother. Each time I reach this point and think of him in these terms, I can go no further. I’ll miss you, Chuck baby, I truly will.

    My heartfelt condolences to Kathe and the kids, my gratitude to God that I met and worked with Chuck.

  9. Chuck Mullenweg was a great man. He was a loving husband, a loving father, a tech genius, a stellar member of the business community and a giving volunteer. He also possessed amazing dry wit, which I always appreciated.

    I met his wife, Kathe, when our sons were in the same 4th grade class at Parker Elementary. We have been friends ever since. We were both room mothers. Both boys were in the Adv. Band. It was invited to play at opening day at the Westbury Little League Park in 1994. Parents had to get their band student to the park early. There was a very long wait before the band actually performed. I sat by myself in the bleachers thinking about nothing much. I was bored. About 10 feet away sat Chuck by himself. I didn’t really know him, but I knew Kathe, so I introduced myself. We sat there, the sun glaring down, temperature rising, discussing our sons and bits of this and that. We shared some jokes. Time passed pleasantly. The opening ceremony finally took place, the band played, and Chuck and I took our respective sons home.

    I later found out from Kathe that Chuck said, “I didn’t know Northern girls could flirt.” WHAT?

    She explained that Chuck had been stationed at the US Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA Great Lakes), the home of the United States Navy’s only boot camp, located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois, at one time. He’d found the Northern girls to be aloof.

    I guess as we had passed the time at the ball park, I’d mentioned being raised in the upper Midwest, including Naperville, Illinois (Chicago suburb). I speak without accent, too. Yes, I am a Northern girl, but I was just being my usual cordial self at the ball park. I had not been flirting! Mercy!

    That was my introduction to the witty, dry humored, Chuck Mullenweg. What a guy!

    Earlier the same school year, Chuck had helped with a wood project for the class Holiday Party. Kathe has asked him. I thought it very nice he gave of his time. Good parent volunteers are hard to find.

    Fall of 1995, he volunteered his time again to perform in the Parker Pops Concert. He was one of several fathers, who dug out their musical instruments, and played rock ‘n roll and blues with Parker faculty members as part of Family Night at the Book Fair. Chuck played his sax. I learned from Kathe he’d been a sax jazz player, never losing his interest in jazz. Also, when son Matthew chose an instrument, he chose a sax like his dad’s. I understand Matt still plays – a splendid, lasting musical bond with his father.

    I didn’t see Chuck very often, but whenever I did, he always had a twinkle in his eye and a delicious bit of dry humor at the ready. Sometimes his remark would exasperate Kathleen, which just made it funnier. His eyes would twinkle more. He had the best grin.

    One time I took my grandson Ellis, then 5 years old, out to Katy to see Kathe. I figured he would have to quietly amuse himself with some books while she and I talked. However, Chuck happened to be home. He took it upon himself to entertain Ellis while Kathe and I visited. Chuck took him outside and showed him around. I suspect they discussed bugs, birds, fishing, and nature. Entertaining a 5 year old one has just met isn’t easy, but they had a good time. I thought to myself, “what a kind hearted man Chuck is.”

    My husband passed away in December 2012. In September 2012, he’d given me a new computer for my birthday. He never had a chance to set it up. My daughter, who is a techie, tried to set it up after the funeral and before returning to San Francisco. She had most everything set up, but couldn’t figure out a problem with the old back-up external hard drive. She left with the problem unresolved. I had to have a working computer for my volunteer work. It was already a terrible time, but to have computer problems, too, was beyond the pale.

    Enter Chuck – the computer genius – a veritable knight in shining armor saving the widowed dame in distress.

    (Kathe had emailed me a photo once of Chuck and Charleen, Chuck with his knight’s beard and Charleen, looking straight out of a Renaissance Fair, looking up at him adoringly. I said at the time he looked like a knight, and I’m sticking to it!)

    Kathe had shared my dilemma with Chuck and he came to my rescue. Chuck came to my house one Saturday and fixed the computer. I was overjoyed. I still had a problem, however, as my printer was old and could not connect to the new computer. I assumed I’d have to buy a new printer. But Chuck figured out the solution there, too, and several days later he gave me a connecting cord that had the proper ends which could connect the printer and the computer. More joy. I fully expected to pay for the amazing cord, but he waved off any reimbursement. So kind, so gallant, so generous.

    I had the privilege of knowing Chuck Mullenweg since a hot spring day in 1994. He was and will always remain a great man for me. God bless him.

    And God bless Kathe, Matthew and Charleen.

    When my husband passed, I took on the motto of “Keep Calm and Carry On!” It’s since become a trendy cliché, but truly, it helped me and will help you, too. Chuck would want you to carry on.

    Barbara Haverkamp

  10. I am so sorry to hear about your father’s passing Matt. Reading the wonderful tribute to him, brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful person to have had as your dad! Wishing you and your family peace and healing.

    1. Dear Matt,

      I don’t know much about your Dad, and you, apart from WordPress. But reading your story I can imagine about you, and your Dad.

      My prayers for your family…

      I am taking care of my Dad – on and off with the hospital, so I only can partly understand what you’ve been through. For the role of Dad, I recently listen to a short performance by the Neales (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLlD0EPe8-8). For a long discussion about life and the seemingly complexity of it, I now like reading Mindfulness books by Thich Nhat Hanh (http://plumvillage.org/book/is-nothing-something/). I hope you will get better, and continue (both) your journeys.

      NA

  11. Matt, I never knew Chuck. And you and I don’t know each other. But I want to tell you this because I know how you’re hurting right now.

    It gets better.

    It takes a while, and even 23 years on you’ll still cry when you think about him, and that you can no longer tell him how much love him. You know, just to make sure he knows, because you didn’t tell him often enough when he was around?

    But it does get better.

    And despite all the loving words we write when it finally dawns on us they’re gone, no doubt your old guy was as much of a pain in the petutie as mine was. But a pain we’d gladly give our right arm to have back again, right?

    I was travelling and far away from home, but I remember the hour, where I was and what I was doing exactly, the day my pop died. Its burned into my brain. If they cut me open, when its my turn, they’ll find it imprinted there like the words in a stick of rock candy.

    They say that every generation blames the one before. But I can tell you, when they’re gone we forget all the bad stuff. Until, that is, we’re called out on something we don’t want to own up to. Then we haul it all back out of the closet and give ourselves dispensation.

    The oldest trick in the book. Blame the dead guy.

    Matt, my friend. Don’t do it. Own your own faults as you would your successes. Hug your kids, give them your time and show them how much you love them. Take the gift he gave you all his life, and be the change you want to see. Its what he would have wanted.

    I am not religious so I don’t have dreams of the old guy up there in the sky looking down on me. No, pop’s still here with me, in my heart. Just like Chuck is still with you. And every so often you’ll hear him tell you ~ “Don’t give up” or “You can do better than that”.

    I had the best dad. EVER!

    And by the sounds of it, so did you.

  12. Matt,
    I was sorry to learn from Audrey about the sudden loss of your Dad. From what I read, he was one special “Pops,” who symbolized many of the traits I tried to emulate with my two kids. There will always be a slice of homemade pesto pizza for you in our kitchen. We made a modest donation to CCA in his memory.

  13. I had the honor of meeting Matt’s mom and dad when the three of them passed through Alabama on a family road trip a few years ago. I really enjoyed our dinner together, but I think the thing that struck me the most was when they drove away, with the guy who’s my CEO and the founder of WordPress riding off in the backseat of his parents’ car as they crossed Mobile Bay, on their way back to Houston together. Meeting Mr. and Mrs. Mullenweg that day, seeing their relationship with Matt, and realizing how they influenced even the culture of the company I work for — that’s something I will always remember.

  14. Matt,
    I am deeply sorry for your loss. Chuck must have been a great man to help raise someone as honest and decent as yourself. I can understand a little what a huge shock it must be; my father died many years ago a few days after an unexpected heart attack.

    I wish you and your family peace and continued love. I hope you will all come to cope with the grief (it never goes away), though that may seem impossible at the moment, and learn to celebrate his memory and rejoice in how much better the world clearly is having had Chuck in it.

    Mike

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss, Matt. My mom died in 2002. Nothing prepares us. But dwell on the happy times you had with your father; the consolation for the pain is that it wouldn’t hurt so bad if you didn’t have such a good relationship with him for so long.

  16. He lives on through you, and he will live on through your children. That’s the way it works. Genetic Immortality! You made him very proud by mirroring his good qualities…and that’s what counts Matt.

  17. Matt, I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Having lost a parent myself I know the pain it can bring. Now’s the time to rely on family and friends and temporarily put away any pride or sense of being able to “handle it.” Cry when you want to but don’t feel guilty if you don’t (trust me, it will come at some point). Share great memories with those who know your Dad. Don’t fret about work for a while, it’ll still be there when you’re back and you’ve got good people who will handle any emergencies. And most of all, honor his memory by continuing to pursue all of the adventures he would have enjoyed sharing with you or at least hearing about. As for me, I”ll be thinking of you and wishing you strength, love, and peace through this trying time.

  18. Matt,

    My deepest sympathy on the untimely passing of your beloved father. I also lost mine few years back and know how hard that can be.

    Surround yourself with family members and friends.

    Prayers and love to you and your family my friend.

  19. Our condolences to you and your family, Matt. What a wonderful homage to your Father and what a wonderful legacy he leaves in you and yours. Sincerely, Sandy and Alfonso Varela

  20. What a beautiful tribute to your father. It gave such a good idea of his character, although the pictures you chose already went a long way to doing that.

    You mentioned in the blog post that linked to this that you’d been doing a lot of reading on the subject of grief, so in case you’d not seen it, I thought I would leave a link to a series on grief that Slate published years ago:

    The Long Goodbye, by Meghan O’Rourke
    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/grieving/features/2011/the_long_goodbye/the_long_goodbye.html

    I’ve not yet directly experienced the death of a parent, so I’ve not read this entire series, but I found the first post so lyrical and moving and I know that I’ll come back to it when the time comes. What I can say is that my Grandpa died in December, and my Mom and aunt expressed many of the feelings the initial post mentions.

    You were lucky to have such a good man in your life who left you with so many positive influences. Good luck, Matt.

  21. I belonged to the Kane Kai Surf Team with Chuck in the 60’s and used to hang with him when he and Buddy Singleton and the South Houston gang would come down to 37th St. in Galveston in Chuck’s black surf wagon. I was younger and gremmies were generally frowned upon/tolerated/abused in 60’s surf culture but Chuck was friendly and kind to me. We were friends. I adored Chuck and in later years I tried to find him to reconnect but never did. My deepest sympathy to you on this good man’s passing, he rocked.

  22. Matt, I honestly and sincerely feel for you and your family these days. Take your time and a decent amount of healthy distractions. Take care & Much love!

  23. “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
    – Clarence Budington Kelland
    =========================
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Lieh Rehbar & Naim Kitet.

  24. Matt
    You are in my life every day, even though we have never met. I play in WordPress, and cherish your contribution to this earth.

    My mother and father are both in their early 90s and, although still on this earth, they are no longer of it. My second eldest daughter died at 28, after a five month coma.

    Slow death is excruciating to watch, so unexpected passing, although excruciating in its own way, can give you happier memories of the last times you spent together with your loved one.

    My thoughts go out to you and yours as you work through your grief.

    God bless you.

  25. My deepest sympathy for your loss, Matt. Thank you for sharing his legacy and influence with us. I was honored to meet your Dad at a WordCamp in San Francisco. I chatted with him briefly at the Automattic lounge and appreciated his humor, friendliness and presence. He seemed like a really cool guy to me.

    I also lost my father to cancer and know how challenging it is to accept an incredible loss. I do feel a connection to my father for all time, knowing that he is always with me. I hope that you can find some comfort during this very difficult time.

  26. Kathleen and family,

    Frances and I were visiting our son in Boulder, Co until Wednesday night (4/20) and I didn’t learn of Chuck’s passing until this morning (4/24). When I hired Chuck at Brown & Root I knew he would be a good Computer Scientist which he was indeed. As a part of his varied job at B&R, he did some computer graphics and was quite capable at it. Chuck was always responsible and I never heard a single complaint about the quality or quantity of his work. When reading his obit, I learned a lot about Chuck most of which did not surprise me. For example his interest in surfing, science fiction and music. I could have easily guessed that he was a consummate family man. Chuck always had an easy smile and was liked by all. The world has lost a very talented man and I know he will be sorely missed.

    Regards,

    Doug King

  27. Matt, so sad to read about your Dad, I didn’t get the honour to meet him but having met you I know two things;
    Firstly your Dad is obviously incredible as you are one of the smartest, kindest and generous human beings I have ever had the privilege to know.
    Secondly I’m sure you made him one of the happiest and proudest dads by being his son.

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Chris

  28. Matt, I’ve just read about your Dad, I hope to inspire my kids same way he did with you.

    I’ll follow your advice and say I love you to my parents even more often.

    I send you my warm and sincere condolences.

    L O V E

    Jesús

  29. My sincerest condolences to the family. May God give you strength and peace during this difficult time. (Psalm 29:11)

  30. a fine man has passed from us, but his light lives on here on Earth in the minds and hearts of friends, family and those whose lives he touched.

  31. I recall early on in
    Chuck’s stay
    In ICU, Kathe briefly
    called me laughing.
    She told me Chuck said
    “I am ready for your
    yellow birthday party!”
    Then he pointed to his
    yellow hospital gown.
    That was Chuck, always
    finding the fun and the joke no matter where he was. His humor and love for his family was unparalleled. Rest in peace.

  32. Charlie, I was so very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Losing a parent is never good news, no matter what your relationship. Somehow it represents a shift from being dependent, to becoming independent. You’re a strong person, so I’m sure you’ll get through this. Just know that you’re in my thoughts, sending buckets of love your way.
    Much love,
    Patty Hoenigman

  33. Dear Kathleen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and your sweet family.

  34. Deepest sympathies to Kathleen, Charlie, and Matt from the members of ASJ 105. You are all in our prayers.

  35. Dear Charlie, Kathleen, and Matt, I am so sorry to hear of your Chuck passing. I know that he will always be with you in all the great memories you had with him. Bless all.

  36. We share this time of mourning the loss of our loved ones from similar ailments. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours at this time. I truly feel your loss and know the sorrow you were feeling before his passing. Sounds like a very interesting fellow.

  37. I knew Chuck back at BRES, Mustang, and later. He was a great person to know. His wisdom will stay with me always.

  38. My heartfelt sympathy to you Charlie, Mathew and Kathleen for your huge loss. May God bless y’all with His Comforting Angeles.
    Love,
    Deborah Anderson

  39. Our love to you, Charlie, and your family. Many prayer for each of you in the days ahead.

  40. Charlie, May the Lord’s hands of compassion and love and his guiding light from above, shine down upon and give you strength during this time of sorrow. May you find comfort in knowing that friends share in your loss. My prayers are with you,

  41. Our hearts go out to you and your family, Matt. My wife and I feel like we met your father…through you…when we met at WordCamp Chicago in 2009. You were so supportive, gracious and generous with your time–even though you were getting pulled in a million different directions. Same thing in 2013.

    Like you, my wife and I have both lost a parent. Fortunately, WordPress was with us every step of the way for my mom’s six-month chemo journey…and ultimate passing in July, 2009. WordPress provided the ultimate gifts: flexibility and time to be with family. When we say “WP-for-life,” it’s for real!

    Matt, we know that you will continue to make your parents proud and those around you better people. Your ability to motivate others to think and take action is both priceless and infectious. We’re thankful to have crossed paths with you and hope these words bring some comfort to you and your family.

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