Charles Edward Tennant

June 16, 2023
Charles Edward Tennant

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LTC (Retired) Charles Edward Tennant passed away on June 16, 2023, in Williamsburg, VA.  He was 85 years old.  The Tennant family will host a reception and celebration of his life at Bucktrout of Williamsburg, 4124 Ironbound Road, on Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 12 – 3 pm.   Online condolences may be offered to the family at  A private interment ceremony for the family will be held at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Suffolk, Virginia.

Charlie was born October 9, 1937, in Tacoma, Washington, the youngest of three children.  He graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma and having earned a competitive appointment entered the United States Military Academy in 1955.  Upon graduation from West Point in 1959, he was commissioned a Field Artillery officer and was trained as an Army aviator.  He served his country for over 21 years, including 8 years overseas with 3 combat tours in Vietnam and Laos.  Upon retirement, he worked for many years as a systems engineer in Annandale, Virginia and Westlake Village, CA.  Charlie was well-educated, earning a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.  He was an active member of the West Point Society of greater Los Angeles and served as President from 1999-2003.  He coached youth sports and officiated high school sports for much of his life.

Charlie’s military awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with 1 OLC, the Air Medal with 17 OLC, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Valorous Unit Citation Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Palm), and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Medal (First Class).   He was awarded the Ranger Tab and the Parachutist Badge.  He was also awarded the Master Army Aviator Badge, accruing 3537 flying hours with 1518 hours flown in combat.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents Victor and Jeanne, his brother Brandt, and his sister Janice.  He is survived by his wife of 64 years Mary Jo (Sigler) Tennant of Williamsburg, Virginia;   his children Stephen Tennant (Marianne) of Leavenworth KS, Catherine McGuire (Lee) of Williamsburg, VA, Susan Tennant (Chris Swenson) of West Seattle, WA, and William Tennant (Heather) of Cumming, GA; grandchildren Joseph Tennant, Jonathan Tennant, Madeline Miskelly, Christopher Ziarnowski, Kevin Ziarnowski, Justin McGuire, Daniel McGuire, Ryan McGuire, Ella Swenson, Elliott Swenson, and Everett Tennant; eleven great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of friends acquired over a lifetime of good living.

Flowers may be delivered to Bucktrout of Williamsburg.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association ( in honor of Mary Jo.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 24, 2023
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Bucktrout Funeral Home - Directions
4124 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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  • June 22, 2023
    Fred Robertson says:
    I was fortunate to officiate numerous high school sporting events with Charlie. His favorite sport was working high school football in Ventura County, CA. One of his claims to fame was he officiated the game when a running back at Hueneme HS set the national federation rushing record with over 600 yards in a single game. I wasn't there and often wondered how Charlie kept pace with a game with that much offense. Charlie and Mary Jo were regular attendees at our annual holiday party we hosted following the football season. There was never a doubt who would be the first to arrive, I'm sure a carryover from his days in the military. Charlie also loved to meet with young high school seniors to discuss attending West Point. He was a great advocate of the West Point tradition.

  • June 21, 2023
    Anne Rutherford says:
    Charlie was an amazing man. He played numerous games of Clue and Life with his pesky little sister-in-law and sent what were terribles jokes to me. He loved his family, all of us even when we probably weren't at our best. He was always willing to sit down with you over a cup of tea and talk. Charlie, I will miss you. Thankfully there are many great stories to tell.