Doctor Charles Filmore Bohnstedt Jr.

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


Doctor Charles Filmore Bohnstedt Jr.


1965 - 1977: Finding the Path

Charles, and the woman he would marry, Nancy Elaine Camps, had known each other since they were quite young.  But they became sweethearts because of Nancy's older sister, Barby, who was dating Charles when they were in high school.  According to Nancy, her mother decided that the best way to chaperone Charles and Barby (that's how things used to be done) was to have Barby's little sister, Nancy, tag along when they went on a date. Nancy went on many "dates" with Charles and Barby, going out for an ice cream or a soda or something like that. Things didn't really work out, and after high school Charles and Barby went their separate ways - romantically speaking. It was right after they broke up that Charles began his expedition to California.

1-2. L-R:  Charles Filmore "Charlie" Bohnstedt Jr., most likely in his early teens, and Charles Bohnstedt in 1965 in his high school senior/graduation picture.

When Charles was attending high school in San Antonio, Texas, he had a part time job at a "Piggly Wiggly" supermarket.  He did such a good job that, upon graduating from high school in 1965, Piggly Wiggly asked Charles to take training in California to become a store manager.  According to Charles' wife, Nancy, he headed for California by himself in an old Chevy.  Nancy told me she is not sure where in California he was going, but during the journey west the car broke down in the Arizona desert. Charles then hitchhiked his way to California, but once there he became homesick.  After working in California for a short time Charles paid for a bus ticket back to San Antonio. This was probably about 1966.  When he got back to San Antonio Charles began attending San Antonio junior college, but before long he transferred to the University of Texas in Austin in 1968 and began pursuing his bachelor's degree, a pursuit which culminated in a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1970.

According to Charles' wife, Nancy Bohnstedt, while Charles was pursuing his bachelor's degree at University of Texas (UT) he was involved in a life-changing event. Charles was in need of money, so he went to the UT student center where he found a job posting for someone to wash beakers, petri dishes and other glassware items used by the research professors and science students.  One afternoon, as he was carrying out his washing duties he overheard two of the students discussing a problem in which they were supposed to calculate the number of seeds in a beaker, but they had no idea how to proceed.

1. University of Texas, Austin
2. Doctor and Professor Tom Mabry, University of Texas, Austin

Because Charles was a mathematics major he knew a formula that could be used for reaching a solution to the problem with the seeds.  After explaining to the other two students how to solve their problem, the two students went into an adjacent room where Doctor and Professor Tom Mabry was, and they told him how the "guy washing dishes" had provided a formula to solve the problem.  Dr. Mabry approached Charles and asked him some questions about his math formulas.  Apparently Dr. Mabry was very impressed by Charles' analytical abilities, and convinced him to bypass his Master's degree, and to study for a Doctorate degree in the botany department.  That incident with the math problem set him on the path that would take him through the rest of his life, both professionally and romantically.

Student I.D. Charles Bohnstedt, University of Texas, Austin, 1972-73

In 1972 Nancy found herself pursuing a degree at University of Texas in Austin because, according to her, UT Austin was the only school where she could get a degree for teaching the vision impaired (Nancy's profession).  As she was enrolling in a biology class she needed for degree certification she was standing in a long line.  When Nancy finally got to the front of the line she noticed someone there helping with filling out paperwork, someone who she thought looked liked Charles Bohnstedt, the guy who used to date her sister.  But she wasn't completely certain because he had longer hair down over his ears - 1970's style - and the last time she had seen him he had crew cut hair. He didn't look up when Nancy handed him her paperwork; he just began filling it out.  So Nancy pointed to her name on the paperwork, just to draw his attention to it, and then it dawned on Charles because he just looked up and stared at her!

1. Wedding day for Charles Bohnstedt and Nancy Camps, May 25, 1974.
2. Historic La Villita Church in San Antonio Texas, where Charles Bohnstedt and Nancy Camps were married

When Charles saw Nancy at University of Texas he no longer saw the 10-year old kid pestering him and his date, but a beautiful young woman.  Charles didn't say anything at first; apparently he was at a loss for words.  Nancy says he started "fiddling" with the paperwork and finished filling in the blanks for her.  She took the papers, and as she started walking away Charles vaulted over the table and caught up with her, and that's when she felt his hand on her shoulder.  He was nervous, and after telling Nancy that he hadn't recognized her at all except for the name on the form.  He then asked her for a date...not for a drink or dinner, but for an ice cream cone.  Nancy says it was a magical moment and she never forgot it.  Not only had Dr. Prof. Mabry put Charles on the path for life for his career, but without realizing it had put him on the path for the best part of his life, his partnership with his wife to be; Nancy Elaine.

2. Doctorate degree conferred upon Charles Filmore Bohnstedt Jr.

On May 25, 1974, Charles and Nancy married.  Although their marriage license was obtained in Travis County, their wedding ceremony was conducted at the historic La Villita ("Little Village") Church in San Antonio, in Bexar County, Texas.  Sixteen months later, on January 28, 1976, their first child, Ross Von Bohnstedt was born in Austin.  Finally, on the Fifteenth of August, 1977, A Doctor of Philosophy degree was conferred up Charles Filmore Bohnstedt Jr.


1977 - 2002: The Research Scientist

In 1977 Charles relocated to Houston, Texas with his wife and son, a move which was motivated by Charles acceptance of a position as Senior Research Chemist and Director of Research with GeoChem Research in Houston.  The following year Charles' and Nancy's second child was born; Carrie Eve Bohnstedt, born December 17, 1978 in Houston.

1. Charles and Nancy Bohnstedt, 1980's
2. Charles Bohnstedt conducting "research" in Alaska. Charles was known for his sense of humor.
3. Logo from "Von Analytical Labs", a company founded and operated by Charles Bohnstedt.

Charles' position with GeoChem involved him in a number of research projects with the United States government during the 1980s.  Although the titles to these projects seem somewhat dry, they were prestigious and carried very high price tags, sometimes in the millions of dollars.  These research projects for the U.S. government included:

- Bureau of Land Management (1978 - 1981), Project titled: "Ecological Investigation of Petroleum Production Platforms in the Central Gulf of Mexico: Sediment Total Organic Carbon, Low Molecular Weight Hydrocarbons in the Seawater Column, High Molecular Weight Hydrocarbons in Sediments"

- Department of Energy (1980 - 1983), Project titled: "Development of an Improved Method for the Analysis of Pressure Core Samples"

- Department of the Interior, Geological Survey (1980 - 1987), Project titled: "Oil and Gas Source Rock Study and Maturity Analysis of Samples From Wells Drilled in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska"

- Department of the Interior, Mineral Management Services (1983 - 1984), Project titled: "Thermal Pyrolysis of Cutting Samples From Select Wells"

- Environmental Protection Agency (1984 - 1987), Project titled: "Chemical Analytical Services for 2, 3, 7, 8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin"

- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1986-1989), Project titled: "Chemical Analysis of Water, Sediment, and Light Phase Samples Obtained from Various Civil War Projects Within the Galveston District"


1-6. A few of the many books which make reference to work by Dr. Charles F. Bohnstedt Jr.

About 1989 Charles retired from GeoChem, and about the same time established his own business in Houston called "Von Analytical Labs".  Charles incorporated the business in 1997, but finally dissolved the business and retired as a research chemist/scientist in 2002.  Charles took up teaching for a few years in middle school and high school, and then finally retired altogether.


1976 - 2016: The Family Man

According to Charles's and Nancy's daughter, Carrie, it was sometime during the 1980's that Charles became interested in genealogy and family history.  Nancy believes it was a little earlier, about the time they moved to Houston.  In 1995, when Carrie was in high school, Charles gave her a binder which contained genealogical studies of the Bohnstedt and Camps family lines. Carrie said that Charles jokingly told her that he had conducted all of the genealogical research so he could show Carrie that she was, in fact, related to everybody, and therefore could not date anybody!

Kinship of Cortlin Eugene Salge / January 2006, presented by Charles Bohnstedt to his daughter, Carrie, on the occasion of the birth of her first child, Cortlin. This was a genealogical study of the extended families and clans of Cortlin's parents, Casey Salge and Carrie (Bohnstedt) Salge.  According to Carrie, a similar binder, which contained genealogical studies of the Bohnstedt and Camps family lines was given to her by her father in 1995 when she was in high school.

After Charles began his research into Bohnstedt family history and genealogical research he came into contact with Duane "Sparky" Bohnstedt and Dr. Marvin Bohnstedt, both of who had also become deeply involved in Bohnstedt family historical research.  When Charles' daughter, Carrie was married in 2001 he gave her a binder with detailed genealogical research on the Bohnstedt and Camps family lines.  A similar binder was given to her when her first child, Cortlin, was born in 2006. Charles Bohnstedt, along with Duane "Sparky" Bohnstedt and Marvin Bohnstedt contributed greatly to the body of knowledge we now have about the Bohnstedt family in America.

1.  Charles and Nancy's house in Houston
2.  Charles with Ross Bohnstedt

Charles' love of genealogy and family history studies was evidenced on an obituary that appeared online after his passing.  The second-to-last line says "The Bohnstedt/Camps family runs deep; he is survived by branches that gave him much pride".  This was an allusion to the many relatives in his, and his wife's extended families.

1.  Charles and Nancy's son, Ross, with his wife Lauren
2. Charles and Nancy's daughter, Carrie, with her husband, Casey Salge

That same obituary referred to Charles F. Bohnstedt as "High Achieving", and so he was.  But regardless of his success in earning his doctorate, working as a research chemist or Director of Research, or his contributions to Bohnstedt family historical research, it could be said that his greatest achievement and legacy was his devotion to his own, immediate family. Ross and Carrie told how he helped coach their little league games and was always helping with their homework.  According to Carrie, however, Charles often found flaws in their text books!  Charles loved his work, and loved researching his family history.  But it would be safe to say that neither of those compared to the love he had for his family; his wife, his children and his grandchildren.  They were the real love of his life.

1.   Charles and Nancy with their grandson, Dean Bohnstedt (Ross and Lauren Bohnstedt's son), on his second birthday, March 2013

2.   Family of Charles Filmore Bohnstedt Jr.; L-R Back: Ross and wife Lauren (Waits) Bohnstedt, Nancy (Camps) Bohnstedt holding grandson Dean, Charles F. Bohnstedt Jr., Carrie (Bohnstedt) Salge, with husband Casey Salge.  L-R Front:  Carrie and Casey's first two children; Catelyn Elaine Salge and Cortlin Eugene Salge.

Charles passed away on December 18, 2016.  At the time he had five grandchildren; from Ross and Lauren Bohnstedt: Dean Von and Stella Claire.  And from his daughter Carrie:   Cortlin Eugene, Catelyn Elaine and Colton Edward.  After Charles passed away Carrie and her husband Casey had one more child: Campton Everett.

Charles was a scientist to the end.  When he passed on, instead of a burial his body was donated for scientific research per his wishes.



Book References:

Bretthauer, Erich W. and Kraus, Heinrich W. and Domenico, Alessandro. Dioxin Perspectives;  A Pilot Study on International Information Exchange on Dioxins and Related Compounds. 1992 (ISBN-10 0306439166, ISBN-13 978-0306439162)
- Gibson, Arthur Charles. Structure-Function Relations of Warm Desert Plants. 1996 (ISBN 3540592679)
- Wolf, Christian. Dynamic Stereochemistry of Chiral Compounds: Principles and Applications. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2008 (ISBN 0854042466, 9780854042463)
- Mander, Lewis. Liu, Hung-Wen. Comprehensive Natural Products II: Chemistry and Biology. Newnes, 2010 (ISBN 0080453821, 9780080453828)
- Wickens, G.E. Field, David. V.  Goodin, Joe R.  Plants for Arid Lands. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012 (ISBN 940116830X, 9789401168304)
- Seigler, David S. Plant Secondary Metabolism. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012 (ISBN 1461549132, 9781461549130)
- Calvo-Flores, Francisco G. Dobado, Josť A.  Isac-Garcia, Joaquin. Martin-Martinez, Francisco J. Lignin and Lignans as Renewable Raw Materials: Chemistry, Technology and Applications. John Wiley & Sons, 2015 (ISBN 1118597869, 9781118597866)
- Nabhan, Gary Paul. Gathering the Desert. University of Arizona Press, 2016 (ISBN 0816535019, 9780816535019)


See Also:
3-30 / Genealogy 3-3-2: America; Wyoming, Colorado and Texas


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