On April 3rd the friends, family, business associates and neighbors of Charlie Qualkinbush came together to celebrate the life of an incredibly generous man whose impact on growth and development in Blue Springs cannot be measured. As I looked around the standing room only chapel, the love for Charlie was evident through the many pictures, the colorful balloons, and the voices of so many that, like Wanda and I, had come to show our respect and honor for this man and his family.

Charlie went out of his way to give people a chance, doing banking the old-fashioned way. He listened, advised, guided and taught, then with a shake of his hand, approved the loan. He gave Wanda and me our first mortgage when it was likely we didn’t qualify by normal standards. Charlie trusted us, and as a result Blue Springs became our permanent home. Thank you Charlie, you made a difference in our lives.

As others attending the memorial service shared similar stories of Charlie, stories about his humor and quick wit, it occurred to me how fortunate Blue Springs was to have Charlie Qualkinbush as a business and community leader and how much we will all miss him. From his early days at Blue Springs Bank to JC Hunter Real Estate that he and Judy shared, to joining him and Judy at Waffle House for breakfast, Charlie always had a kind word of encouragement for everyone he met and a smile that lit up the room.

To Judy Qualkinbush and to the children she and Charlie shared, thank you for allowing us to know Charlie and to have our lives enriched by him. We appreciate the contribution he made to our city and we join you in knowing Charlie will be truly missed.