Written by Kathryn Fenstermaker – Business Development Consultant, C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates, L.L. C.
Published March 19, 2018 – LinkedIn
In honor of National Surveyors Week, and in the spirit of awareness for the importance and continued respect for the surveying profession, I’m writing to spotlight the most important surveyor of my life, my Grandfather, Charles Howard Fenstermaker, Jr. I knew him for the first 12 years of my life, and he lives on in my heart and mind to eternity.
I recently re-read his accounting of the events that transpired on the beachhead at Anzio during World War II, an account that is both heart-breaking and awe-inspiring. He surveyed for artillery units in 1944, surviving bombings from the SS – digging foxholes in the cold Italian sand and soil. He recounted a successful offensive – tracer fire illuminating the night sky, bright enough to read by, he said, and all I can do is imagine this most stressful time in my Grandfather’s life. The fact that he survived was what some might consider a miracle; what I find miraculous is that he returned home with the strength, determination, and mental fortitude to be a husband, a father, and an entrepreneur.
A licensed professional surveyor and civil engineer, C. H. Fenstermaker was the embodiment of integrity. His standards for excellence reverberate still… so much so, I believe they course through my veins. In this and many other ways, he lives on, and as I survey my memories, I find him: filled with pride over the accomplishments of his children, completing a crossword puzzle by lamplight, comforted by the love of his life, my Grandmother, able to rest peacefully with no regrets.