Charles W. “Chett” Badger ’41 died on March 2, 2011, in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
He was born in Rangeley, Maine, on October 1, 1919, and was salutatorian of his graduating class at Rangeley High School before studying a year at Hebron Academy, where he was valedictorian. He won a State of Maine Scholarship to Bowdoin, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. After graduation, he went to work for DuPont Corporation in their ballistics laboratory in Memphis. He was selected to work on the Manhattan Project and trained on the first commercial grade nuclear reactor at the Oakridge, Tenn., facility before moving to Richland, Wash., where high-grade plutonium was manufactured for the atomic bomb at the newly-built Hanford plant. After World War II, he went to work for Badgett Mine Stripping Corporation and for 15 years worked as foreman, superintendent, project manager, and vice president. In the early 1960s he started his own heavy construction company, C.W. Badger, Inc., and worked on roads, canals, and bridges in northern Illinois. He also owned and operated Badger Asphalt Paving Materials, Inc. His construction company excavated the last plug of land that “wedded the waters” between Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. In 1973, after the death of his father-in-law, he took over Badgett Terminal Corporation as president and retired in 2007. For nearly 20 years, he and his wife Julia also owned and operated Julia Rhea Ranch, where they bred racing quarter horses. He was a life- long member of Kemankeag Masonic Lodge #213 A.F.& A.M. in Rangeley and Rizpah Shriners in Madisonville, Ky. He was a member of the Session at the Calvert City Presbyterian Church. He is survived by two sons, Kirk and Dr. Charles R. Badger Sr.; a daughter, Rhea Badger; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by Julia Badgett Badger, his wife of 69 years; his oldest son, Russell W. Badger; foster daughter Mary Lou Merch Badger Knight; and a sister, Jeanne Badger Field.