Charles Thomas LeSueur

01/22/1951 - 11/10/2019
Service Date: 11/23/2019
Service Time: 10:00 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-Mountain Ranch Ward, 3440 South Signal Butte Road, Mesa, Arizona
Visitation Date: 11/22/2019
Visitation Time: 6-8 PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel (33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ)
Interment: City of Mesa

Charles Thomas LeSueur was welcomed to the stage January 22, 1951 and made his final curtain call Sunday, November 10, 2019 at the age of 68. Charlie was a Mesa, Arizona native born from a long lineage of Pioneers to Mesa, Arizona. His rich family history began his love of the Superstition Legend that even a near death experience there could not keep him away. He devoted his life to his family, music, theater, and most notable his love of the silver screen.
Starting from a young age his adoration of westerns was surpassed by his flair for the dramatics that only a good horror film could inspire. Charlie started developing his craft at a young age, frightening his brother into the night. His brother Ben was noted that, “he never broke character, until his favorite television show came on”. From then it was known to all that he belonged center stage. His talents and interests were fostered by the encouragement and love of his mother. As he grew into a young man, he developed a special gift for music and continued to polish his talent throughout the rest of his life, even making it onto the music charts. His love for The Dave Clark Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and of course The Beatles were huge influences throughout his life. Charlie never missed an opportunity to share his trivia knowledge and let his children know that back in the sixties, The Dave Clark Five was just as big and at times bigger than The Beatles, much to the shock and disbelief his children faced at learning their musical heroes were ever below anyone else. He even shared his movie knowledge by informing them that in the movie “Hard Day’s Night” George Harrison said, “I wouldn’t be seen dead in them, they’re dead grotty,” in reference to the shirts the Dave Clark Five wore.

When it was time to set out into the world, Charlie made his way to Hollywood joining the improv troupe Off the Wall. Eventually he was contacted and asked to join the television show “Hotel Balderdash” in Salt Lake City, Utah where he played the infamous character Raymond. The show surpassed many expectations and Charlie was a beloved adversary. Children would line up around the block to see the villain they secretly loved. The show was a wonderful success and to the community it is well known that without a bad guy there can be no heroes.
It is in his time in Salt Lake City while doing a play, Charlie met his amazing and beautiful soulmate, Dawn Morris, and made her take the last name of LeSueur. They were gifted with seven beautiful children who they shared their love of music, theater, and of course the movies. Now not all of us children can say that we developed the same love of horror movies as Charlie, but he raised us kids to understand the intricacies involved in all the movies including what he called the “B-rated movies” (which tended to be his favorite ones). As a Dad, Charlie honed his special knack for making each child feel as though they were his favorite and always made sure he was there for all events big and small. He shared stories, knowledge, and above all else his sense of humor. Dinner time was always filled with laughter and one of his most favorite memories was of a full-on food fight initiated by him at the dinner table.

Charlie created amazing traditions of Sunday random drives that ended in beautiful adventures, memories, and understanding of history. He always had a deep love for Arizona and would get upset when his children would mention that the Salt River was dry and filled with brush. He would quickly enlighten them that before the valley became so populated and the water was not controlled as it is now, it used to flood annually and had a lot more water in it throughout the year.
As his children grew Charlie began to receive the blessing of grandchildren, who he carried on the tradition of making them each know that to him they were the most important person in the world. As the grandchildren grew and developed personalities that matched their names, Papa dubbed each of them with a special nickname, song, or pronunciation of their name that was wrapped in his love and adoration. He spent his weekends asking his wife who was coming over, what dinner they could prepare for the kids, or what events they could attend to see their loved ones. Family get togethers were always amazing as they involved Dad usually on the couch with his eyes closed and him famously saying, “I’m just resting my eyes, just listening to everything you all are saying” (side note: he was asleep).

Charlie’s passion for theater led him to have a very successful career in advertising, community theater, as a teacher, and in radio. Winning many distinguishable awards, he eventually met with friends that helped him develop the career that made him never work a day in his life as he loved it so much. Meeting and making friends with his Hollywood heroes, he knew just as much if not more about the individuals he met. He had an amazing database of knowledge and wanted to share how wonderful his idols were with the world. Starting with the Festival of the West in the early nineties, Charlie learned all he could eventually establishing himself as a notable writer and earning himself the title of Arizona’s Film Historian. He loved meeting everyone he could and learning from them, encouraging them, and sharing with them the amazing world of the Classic Silver Screen.

My Dad would have never called himself a humble man, but his ability to lift people up, to express to others how amazing they are, and to take the time to find the best in everyone is a character trait that I am sure few people can attribute to themselves. Above all else, what many do not know which I feel honored that he shared with me is that his ultimate heroes were his Dad and his wife, Dawn. He was sad knowing that his father’s life was taken too soon, but he knew that his dad would give a person the shirt off his back, and that is what Charlie aspired to do as well. I believe he surpassed him by giving his socks too! His wife, he always said was the one who made him look good. Behind the man, behind his knowledge, behind his jovial character, he said she knew everything. When he would forget to do something, she helped him through it on a whim. She held everything together professionally and personally and at the same time was there through thick and thin. He would tell everyone all the time that she was his rock.

Charles was preceded in death by his father Ned, and his mother Wilma. He is survived by his wife Dawn and his seven children Jennifer, Jennette, Amber, Kira, Cami, Tyler, and Taylor and his siblings Ben, Lisa and their spouses Louisa and Anthony. He has nineteen beautiful grandchildren, Zachary, Emily, Alex, Marisa, Ryan, Garrett, Noah, Kayden, KD, Gavin, Ian, Nolin, Eric, Regan, Lily, Eli, Caleb, Deegin, and Henry. To Charlie the above blessings he felt honored happened because of his children’s spouses Rick, Marc, David, Tim, Mike, and Rachel.
Anyone who had the honor of brushing shoulders with Charlie knew that he was kind, loving, and genuinely cared about each person’s well-being. He wanted people to laugh and to have a good time. He wanted everyone to know that life was worth living and he portrayed this in a larger than life attitude. If there is anything to remember from his examples it is to spend today laughing and loving … it is what his family will continue to do in his honor!
If you would love and are able to share in the remembrance, please come and help honor the life of the man, the myth, and the legendary Charlie LeSueur.

Memorial Service Friday, November 22, 2019 6pm – 8pm Bunker Family Funeral Home 33 N. Centennial Way Mesa, AZ 85201

Funeral Service November 23, 2019 10am The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 3440 S. Signal Butte Rd. Mesa, AZ 85212

Condolences

  • Never meant you in person but would talk to you on video you always said Hi by name and was always concerned for your fellow actors I hung on your every word and would share with my family .I miss you already Rest in peace Charlie my cowboy friend

  • clifford g. parent

    Will be missed, enjoyed his weekly show, Coopersville Old West Town was a sponsor, we talked coming here in 2020 our Cowboy days GOD speed

  • Charlie, you will be missed here on earth. Thank you for blessing me with such an amazing daughter-in-law, Kira. Our Heavenly Father awaits you with open arms.

  • So sorry for your loss. I too lost my Bob 3 yrs this coming new years eve
    Keeping busy with family and friends will help you stay strong when sweet memories hit you at unexpected moments. I’m glad I got to see Charlie at the class reunion I was enjoying his comments on Facebook. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Yvonne Brooks Taylor

    Happy trails, buddy! I’ll miss our conversations about western films and their actors, filming locations, etc. Rest in peace, Charlie. You are missed.

  • Never got to meet him in person but talked with him on Facebook a few times and loved his videos and pictures. Thank you for sharing him with us all. Gos bless

  • Sincere condolences to the LeSeur Family. Charlie was one of a kind! He and Dawn worked on stage with my Mallory. We adore him. Loved his zeal for life , acting and most of all family! He will never be forgotten.

  • Never got to meet him in person but talked with him on Facebook a few times and loved his videos and pictures. Thank you for sharing him with us all. God bless

  • I met Charlie back in 2009 at Festival of the West. He was a super person. With his help, even though he didn’t realize it, I established my own event which was held for 3 years in Mckinney Tx. He was always there to offer all the help he could as he would make the trek to Tx each year to meet up and mingle with the movie stars who were his good friends as well as meeting old fans and making new ones. It was a sever blow to hear of his passing. There will never be another like him. RIP my cowboy friend as you ride the silver trails with all your pals.

  • All of us at Caribou Moving Pictures and the Arizona Film Expo send our love, condolences and prayers for comfort. Charlie was larger than life. I was blessed to meet him in 2009 while researching the history of Mesa for my book on Falcon Field, where some of his family worked, and we quickly became friends. Distance and schedules kept us from seeing each other very often, so it was so nice to see him and Dawn when Gary Clarke came to town last year, and again at the Inaugural Arizona Film Expo at TenWest last month, where he presented one of the Arizona Film and Media Hall of Fame Awards. He will be missed.

  • I’m so sorry to hear this. I enjoyed his show and I know he was a really good man. He will be missed by many. May he rest in peace and receive his final reward. Until we meet Charlie

  • I was just a fan. But I had a lot of respect for Charlie and his work. God be with you all !

  • A beautiful tribute to a special man. I do have some wonderful memories of him and your family. I sorry to not be able to attend the funeral because I live up in Northern AZ and have bad health. Love to Dawn and family.

  • Wonderful imagination! Got the real story with details. Wonderful emcee. Made everyone comfortable stars and fans alike.

  • What can I say what a loss to family and friends and everyone that got to know him. I felt privileged to have known him . He will never be forgotten ❤️

  • Rock & Brenda Whitehead

    Our most sincere condolences to the LeSueur family and friends. It’s so hard for us to say goodbye. Charlie was fun to be around and always had us laughing at something. He was a friend and much more. He was our emcee in Willcox, Arizona every October at The Wild Bunch Film Festival for the last three years, and we were looking forward to 2020 with him. We know he’ll be there in spirit. He loved it, and we loved him being there. He was truly Arizona’s Film Historian and he’ll be missed by us all. We’ll never forget him. RIP Charlie

  • Neebee (lizzy) Gonzalez

    Dear Charlie, though you are gone, thank you so very kindly, for being a nice and good friend, all those years ago (in 2004, from Festival of the West) … not only did I love hearing your ‘master of ceremonies’ work there, and on line, from your projects, but– most of all I loved learning of wonderful Dawn and all those children, and grandkids! from your facebook page!!
    I prayed for you (at the cancer-scare, though I do not know if this was this issue, now) and hoped and prayed for the best… you were looking so well, recently–I was so very happy for you and your home… SO this was a shock, to me, and, I know, to all of us… you will NEVER be forgotten, you were AND still are! unique and so beloved by your family… this means, my friend: a JOB very well done!… I am richer for having had you as a friend– I will keep your family, under my wing, in prayers,
    God bless, to you, Charlie’s family, love, friend, Neebee…

  • OMG I am going to miss my friend. Loved him like a brother, shared his love of the movies, and valued his friendship and the work relationship we developed over the last 30 years or so. My friend I will try to finish our projects in your honor and make you proud of them. Miss you already so much R.I.P

  • Susie Reicheneker

    To the family of Charlie LeSueur….what a beautiful, thoughtful and loving remembrance of your father. I want to thank you all for sharing this remarkable vibrant individual with the public when it came to all things Hollywood and historical in the western genre. We only wish that we had more people like him and we have a few-but Charlies certainly was unique with all of his qualities. I met him in 2016 at the High Chaparral Reunion in Tucson where he was one of the celebrities of the show. He was running around interviewing people from the lineup-I don’t think he must have ever slept! Then the last time I saw him was in January out at the Superstition Mountain Museum when he appeared with Michael Dante, and Don Collier-among others of our TV/film heroes. I would say thank you Charlie for keeping our dreams alive-and bringing light to the rich history of the old west. Thank you.

  • I wish I would have had the chance to meet you. I enjoyed your passion for the Superstition Mountains through your videos. I send my prayers from North Carolina to your family and friends. At least now you have the real story of the Lost Dutchman and his gold.

  • Leonard Whitfield

    Dawn, I am so sorry for your loss. My favorite memories of Charlie were our hikes in the Superstitions. His love of the Superstitions was so infectious that it rubbed off on me. I have hiked in there around 100 times since our hikes together and have read 10 books about legends of the Superstitions. I will miss him, but we will meet again in the future, that’s for sure.

  • God Bless Dawn and the LeSueur family, and God Bless My Friend CharlIe, RIP.

  • RIP loved your story’s

  • There are few people that you meet and immediately know this is a special person, Charlie was one of those. My sincere condolences to Dawn and the entire LeSueur family.

  • He will never know how much of a hole he has left for everyone involved with the old west and the Superstition Mountains. I guess I always figured he would be around forever. His books and videos will keep him alive for many of us.

  • My prayers and condolences to the Charlie LeSueur Family. I met Charlie when he gave his first class about his western history over at the Central Arizona College. I have been to all of his classes there, as well as have all of his wonderful books, which he always took the time to autograph. Charlie was a person who, when you first met him, made you feel welcome and like he had known you all of your life. I am sure that the good Lord is enjoying Charlie’s classes up in Heaven. Charlie is greatly missed.

  • My prayers and condolences go out to the Charlie LeSueur Family. I met Charlie a few years back when he presented his first class about western history over at the Central Arizona College. Charlie is a warm, friendly person who, when you first meet him, makes you feel welcome and as if he has known you all of your life. This class was excellent, and so i attended every class Charlie gave after that, as well as acquiring each of his books, which he always took the time to autograph with a special message. It was so entertaining to learn little tidbits about folks like Roy Rogers, Lash LaRue, and others, that one could not help wondering who the next class would include. Everyone will surely miss a great person like Charlie, but I bet that he is discussing western history with God, and we will have to wait until later to hear what Charlie has to say next. God bless!

  • Edye and Harry Redar

    We extend our deepest sympathy to the entire family. R.I.P. Charlie you will be remembered by anyone that knew you and called you friend.

  • Shelli Lamoreaux Engler

    What an amazing tribute to an amazing man.
    I am forever grateful to Charlie for helping me look good back in our Gilbert Fine Arts days.
    He was one of my favorite directors – loved his energy and sense of direction to provide a groovy theater experience for all involved
    Dawn and family – you are in my prayers –

  • Charlie was my Sunday school Teacher in Salt Lake City, Richards Ward Sugar House Stake. He was great! I remember he had his whole Sunday School class over to his apt in Sugar House. I remember him being on the T.V. also back then. He was and is great! Thanks for being the best Maxine Shoell

  • Joe and Sue Ward

    We met Charlie several years ago. He loved Joe’s mustache, (handlebar style). We became fast friends, Charlie was always telling us about his family. Never saw a man so proud of his his loved ones. He was a walking encyclopedia when it came to movies and those that starred in them. Most of all, We simply love Charlie for The wonderful man he was. May God Bless and comfort his family. We will meet again someday.

  • Jack and Rhonda Mattachione

    We loved Charlie and his Mysteries of the Superstitions stories and all the history he shared about the Mountains. We did not know him for decades however felt like he was family. We were honored to share a few moments in time with Dawn and Charlie and they shared their love of all their family and the gratitude to live in the here and now while viewing the wonders of Flat Iron Peak. We got to meet Dawm and Charlie when they stayed with us at our Airbnb called Om on the Range. His spirit shined in our small moment in time and we were comfortable just talking about the silly things in life. We told Charlie and Dawn they could check out anytime but they could never leave. Charlie must of took this serious because he left his Mysteries of the Superstition Hat he wore during his shows. It took a few weeks to get it back to him and he drove back to pick it up. Will never forget how wonderful his spirit was and Rhonda made sure he had cookies when he departed. We do not believe in death and we believe in energy and energy never dies. Energy lives within each of us and each time we think of Charlie that energy will live. Charlie will always live in the Superstition Mountains because he checked in and he can never leave. Peace my friend, you did a wonderful job and helped many people enjoy life.

  • To The Lesueur Family, I’m expressing my greatest sympathy..What a wonderful man. I first met him in 1997, and almost every year until 2008, there were a few days in March that I would see him. Always a gentleman and ALWAYS a stand up guy worth admiring. My heart pains for you, but I know that our Heavenly Father has welcomed him into Eternity with open arms..I’ll never ever forget when Charlie signed my book, “To Doug, too bad all guys can’t be gentlemen like you.” Well, Charlie…If it weren’t for gentleman like you, ” kids” like me wouldn’t know what being a gentleman is all about. I’ll remember you indefinitely…You were someone to “Ride The River With.” Bless you for your example and again, my deepest condolences to the family. Thank you ALL for sharing this wonderful man with us.

  • I am sorry to learning this sad news. I had just met Charles for the first time at The Wild Bunch Film Festival one month ago. He spoke passionately about movies and kept everyone laughing through 3 days of screenings which can get tiresome. In that way I will remember him as a leader and an entertainer. RIP

  • Even though I never met Charlie in person, I felt like I knew him and I’m very saddened to hear of his passing. I always looked forward to watching another Special edition of Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains. My condolences to the LeSueur family. Your loss is felt around the world.

  • I stumbled onto Charlie’s You Tube channel a couple of years ago and spent many nights watching his videos and hearing him narrate them. He was always upbeat and fun to listen to and watch. You are the best, Charlie. May you rest in peace and roam the mountains when you please. Thank You.

  • So glad I got to meet you, get to know you, laugh with you, and see you on Stage! Your lovely wife help me fulfill my 25-year dream of directing a play. Loved chatting with you and talking theatre with you. Gonna miss you, Charlie!!!

  • So much action in a single life…we are all at a loss now ..we will never see another..but for to short a time we were so blessed…

  • I will miss you Charlie, rest easy sir.

  • I met Charlie back in the mid 2000’s at a western movie actors event and he was such a nice, caring and enjoyable gentleman. When I mentioned knowing Ben “Son” Johnson on a personal level, Charlie’s eyes got bigger than softballs and we chatted for a few hours after the event.
    Charlie will be greatly missed here on earth by so many and it’s not good-bye buddy by no means, it’s truly, God be with you until we meet again and riding those beautiful heavenly horse on those beautiful heavenly trails again!
    My sincere thoughts and prayers goes to Dawn and family, along with all Charlie’s friends!

  • Best wishes and condolences from the men at Mescal.

  • There was NO ONE like Charlie LeSueur – NO ON! He was such a joy – always a pleasure to work with and always so enthusiastic about his part in the National Festival of the West. He headed up our Celebrity Question and Answer sessions and nearly all of our guest celebs said Charlie knew more about them than they knew about themselves. His heart was in theater – and he was GOOD at what he did! But beyond that, Charlie was a friend – a dear friend, who was always there when we needed him. I guess we can say that God needed him more than we – and so he was called home, long before his time – long before we were ready to let him go. He was blessing in my life and I was proud to call him a friend. My heart weeps, not for Charlie – I know he is in a better place with all his cowboy heroes – but for me, for I will miss him more than words can say. Ride easy, Charlie, and know you are loved by many. You are indeed A BIG DEAL!

  • Beverly Guettler

    Words cannot express how I feel and not enough space to add all I’d have to say about a great person and a great friend, so I’ll just close by saying, you’re Riding that Old Hollywood Trail in Heaven. God bless and keep you.

  • Beverly Guettler

    Words cannot express how I feel and not enough space to add all I’d have to say about a great person and a great friend. I’ll miss you.

  • Dear Cookie Lady and family, there are no words to express my deepest sympathy. Your family was Charlie’s greatest pride. He loved you all so very much. Charlie left many different footprints in this world, and he will be greatly missed in all of them. I so enjoyed working with him at Festival of the West. May all your wonderful memories bring you comfort and peace. Love, Bev

  • Leslei Fisher & Gene Ford

    Oh Charlie! You will be missed beyond words! You left us way too soon! Apparently Heaven needed a Cowboy Spokesman! Well, you can act, and play, and even haunt now if you wish! Your shoes you left here can never be filled. It will take many of us to do what you did, but we will do our best to keep the Cowboy Way going!
    Although our hearts are broken, our very deepest condolences and profuse hea prayers to Charlie’s family. We will be at the services in our hearts and minds and wish we could be there in body. Gianormous hugs to all.

  • Cowboy Way Jubilee

    Our deepest condolences and prayers to the LeSueur family–the many, many friends, and all his fans. Few people touch as many hearts. The Cowboy/Western world has lost one of our greatest advocates. It means we must all step up as best as we are able to follow the high bar set by Charlie. Rest in Peace dear friend. The Jubilee wont be the same without you.

  • Carol Marsella, NJ

    I met Charlie in 2004 at the Festival of the West, where he regaled some of us with a few of his stories and left us wanting to hear more. Didn’t know then that Charlie would be so integral to my own Western story-telling and what a generous helpful person he was. Through these years we’d throw one another a find “Howdy” and catch up briefly before a “Happy Trails.” My life is enriched for having met him, and I’ll forever be thankful. Godspeed, dear Charlie, I’ll keep your loved ones in my prayers. Happy trails, ‘til we meet again.

  • What can I say that hasn’t already been expressed. We met Charlie in 2017 in Gene Autry, Oklahoma at the first Cowboy Way Jubilee. Was only a Festival back then. Met him again in Ardmore Oklahoma in 2018. I’ve read his books talked with him on Facebook and participated in his weekly Podcast. This year we were blessed to spend 4 days hanging out and watching movies with Charlie at the International Wild Bunch Film Festival in Wilcox Arizona. I believe that Charlie LeSueur was a Friend of mine and I to him. He was all the wonderful things that has already been expressed about him. His smile was contagious and always reached his eyes. He loved his Family and spoke of them with such pride. He was smart and always wanted to learn more. He loved to share what he knew with all who wanted to listen. I’m so grateful for my memories of Charlie. For my pictures and signed books. Charlie LeSueur was a very special man and I will miss him very much. Thank you Charlie, for being my Friend.

  • As a kid in the 70’s, we all watched him every day.

  • Gary and Wanda Borman

    Dawn and Family, there are no words to express our deepest sympathy. Charlie’s greatest pride was his wife, kids and grand kids. He loved you all so very much and gleamed when talking about you. Charlie touched so many different people in this world, and he will be greatly missed by all.. We so enjoyed working with him at Festival of the West and we formed a great friendship. He will always be in our hearts. May all your wonderful memories bring you comfort and peace. Love, Gary and Wanda

  • I met Charlie in 1956 at Edison School we had moved here and he was in my first grade class, we lived on Pepper place by Pioneer Park Charlies grandma lived on main street. We played cowboys and Indians , and other western themed adventures in the park, life evolves and we all move on and with Facebook I ran across Charlie and we connected again at a friend’s funeral. I was always amazed what a knowledge he had of the western movies and the roles people played in them. Sincere condolences to the LeSueur Family, Charlie knowledge will be missed, May his memory be blessed Happy Trails my old friend like you always said Charlie not Charles

  • Rosie Tsosie bingham

    Thank you for your friendship. Great classmate. Charlie, your spirit horse is waiting to take you into the spirit world. Ride freely on your spirit horse. See you again.Prayers of comfort for your family

  • Ann W Harrington

    We all LOVED having Charles as a cousin! He made all of us feel so special. If Charles was going to be with us, we KNEW we would be having a great time – laughing nonstop. Our love goes out to the whole family – Uncle Boyd’s family – Vern, Ann, Dale, Reed, Jean and Paul

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