(Extensions of Remarks - April 13, 2015)

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[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 52 (Monday, April 13, 2015)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E465-E466]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                         HON. CANDICE S. MILLER

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, April 13, 2015

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and 
remember the life of Chuck Brockman, a devoted husband, son, brother, 
uncle, boater, philanthropist, newspaperman, friend, and retired 
  Chuck was born on May 28, 1934, in Mount Clemens, Michigan. He spent 
his early years in Mount Clemens with his father, Harvey, and mother, 
Roma, and his sister, Janet. At the age of 20, Chuck entered the U.S. 
Army and

[[Page E466]]

admirably served our nation in Munich, Germany. During this time, he 
traveled extensively in Europe and began what was soon-to-be many 
decades of adventure.
  Soon after, he married the love of his life, Margarite ``Scotty'' 
Brockman. Although Chuck and Scotty never had any children of their 
own, they were known for their generosity and willingness to ``adopt'' 
individuals they mentored throughout their lives. This epitomizes the 
man that Chuck Brockman was--he was always willing to take care of 
others as if they were his own family.
  Chuck worked in the composing room at the Macomb Daily newspaper for 
34 years before he semi-retired in 1999. At that time, he launched a 
boating column to share his passion for sailing and the sea with 
others. An avid recreational boater, he would write about places to go 
and the stories behind them. Instead of retiring and quietly enjoying 
the twilight of his life, in his usual adventurous style, Chuck chose 
to continue sharing his fearless experiences on the beautiful waters of 
the Great Lakes for all to learn more.
  Chuck continued his advocacy about the natural wonders of the Lakes 
and its maritime heritage when he founded and ran the Save Our South 
Channel Lights, an organization devoted to restoring historically 
important lighthouses in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. These 
South Channel lighthouses, also known as the Twin Sisters, were built 
before Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States and were used 
for many years by mariners sailing across Lake St. Clair and entering 
the South Channel up to the St. Clair River. Unfortunately, they fell 
into disrepair and were neglected, and many thought they would simply 
fall into the lake and be forgotten. That is, until Chuck Brockman made 
it his mission to save them. He was a passionate spokesperson for this 
project that raised funds for equipment and worked to maintain 
structures of lighthouses that were falling into the lake. Because of 
his tireless efforts, Chuck's organization raised about $900,000 and 
now has lighthouses listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. 
Chuck was able to recruit and inspire so many dedicated individuals 
into this project. Because of this, even though he has sailed on, this 
work will continue; this is a true legacy.
  I first met Chuck when I was a Harrison Township Supervisor in the 
1980s. We instantly formed a bond because of our common love for 
boating. Later when I became Secretary of State, I relied on Chuck's 
sage advice for many projects impacting southeast Michigan, 
particularly the lighthouses. As Secretary of State for Michigan, I 
established a license plate fundraising program that financially 
supported the preservation of all 124 of Michigan's lighthouses. Like 
Chuck, I also appreciate the austere beauty of lighthouses and the 
important role they play for all sailors. Chuck and I worked closely 
during my time as Secretary of State and then when I entered Congress 
to preserve these structures. I was amazed and inspired by his 
enthusiasm, zeal, and quiet strength in accomplishing what many thought 
was an insurmountable feat. I considered him an advisor on these issues 
and a loyal friend.
  On March 1, 2015, Chuck passed away peacefully in his home on Harsens 
Island. I know that I am not alone in saying that I will miss his 
positive outlook on life and stories of his adventures--both on and off 
the water.
  Mark Twain once said:

       Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the 
     things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So 
     throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch 
     the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

  Chuck's life was the embodiment of this saying. In the 80 years that 
he spent on Earth, he explored, sailed, loved, taught, mentored, 
learned, gave, and most importantly, lived.
  Chuck has left a sizeable legacy for the people of Michigan. It is 
people like him that forever leave an imprint in our minds and on our 
  Fair winds and following seas, Chuck.