The ultimate peacemaker received his own peace with his Heavenly Father after a long battle with cancer on May 10, 2019, at his home in Post Falls, Idaho.
Chuck was born Nov. 7, 1951, in Phoenix, Ariz., to mother, Alma Boyd Brown and Charles Louis Lempesis. At a young age, the family moved to Orange County, where he graduated from Katella High School in 1969.
He served his country in the Air Force as security police, where he specialized in dog handling and training. Following that, he continued his military service in North Dakota, working as a narcotics agent. There he met and married Cassandra, the mother of his three children. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, they moved west to complete his undergraduate education at UC Irvine. This is where he first ventured into the legal world as a process server and a private investigator.
He continued his legal journey by moving the family to Post Falls, Idaho in 1977 to attend law school at Gonzaga University. Upon graduation, he embarked on his 40-year law career, which included the Kootenai County Public Defenders office, City Attorney and private practice. From defending 12 capital murder cases and ending as the ultimate peacemaker with over 4,000 mediations, Chuck’s legal career exemplified expertise in all facets of the law.
Politics were his next passion. He ran for state representative and lieutenant governor and worked on many high profile campaigns and was a leader in the Republican party for many years. He had the honor of working in both the Reagan and Bush administrations. First, for Reagan as an advance security officer and later for Bush, as the chief of staff for the Nuclear Waste Negotiators Office.
Following his time with the presidents, he went back into private practice and returned to North Idaho, where he knew he belonged. He then found his calling as a peacemaker and desired to help others resolve their legal differences. Always a fixer and thinking outside the box, he became “the mediator” in high demand throughout the country. Even more so, he penned what in his mind was the next bestseller, “The Art of Making Peace.”
This is when he found his “first mate” and last love, Cyndie. Together they embarked on adventures of air, land and sea, passionately following the Zags, enjoying time with their grandkids, taking their dogs to get burgers in his convertible Ford Falcon — living the dream!
Chuck was an avid traveler, private pilot and sailor. His life journey took him to 41 countries and an undisclosed number of casinos (Chuck pleaded the fifth on this one). Always willing to be challenged, he began road biking and even completed a half marathon. He sailed throughout the San Juan Islands, through a hurricane in the Caribbean and settled in, finally in his happy place sailing the ‘Calm Seas,’ his sailboat, in Long Beach, Calif.
Chuck is survived by his loving wife, Cyndie; his sister, Jenny Bugna; his cousin, Alice; his sons, Troy and Chris; his daughter, Stephanie; his step-daughters, Desiree Barclift and Aubree Chesnut; 10 amazing grandchildren and his dogs, Maggie and Walter. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alma and Charles, and his dogs, Bodo, Tucker and Lucy.
And in the words of Chuck, “If nobody died, there would be no place to park.”
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the North Idaho Boys and Girls Club, 200 W. Mullan Ave., Post Falls, ID 83854, or Crest Home Health and Hospice, 700 W. Ironwood Drive #255, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
A celebration of Chuck’s life will be 2 p.m. on Monday, May 20, 2019, at the Lake City Church, 6000 N. Ramsey Road, Coeur d’Alene.