Laughter and tears marked the passing of a Carson City man who died in a plane crash last week.
"Chuck was the A-Number 1, best neighbor in the whole world," said Santos Corrales, who regaled the crowd of about 100 mourners gathered at the Church of Religious Science with tales of his 11 years as neighbor and friend to Charles Kenneth Collings.
Collings, 36, and passenger 18-year-old Johnathan Lucas Wendling, died Feb. 12 in the crash in Douglas County.
"You always see these guy wheeling and dealing and you say, 'Boy, I'd like to buy that guy for what he's worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth.' But, I'll tell you one thing, you couldn't afford Chuck. He was 'the man' in my book," Corrales said.
Brian Collings spoke of his brother's willingness to help. "He would listen," Brian said.
Life-long friend Chuck Galloway talked of the countless adventures he and his best -friend since age 9 went on in the course of their lifetime together.
"We shared a lot of life," Galloway said. "We experienced the carefree days of elementary school where the toughest decision we had was figuring out which engine to use in our model rockets. At recess we would play kickball or fly paper airplanes. At lunch we would make each other laugh so hard until our stomachs hurt. When you timed it just right, milk would squirt out of the nose of the other guy."
Galloway said his friend was an inventer, designer, engineer, martial art expert and dancer as well as tidy and a stickler for details.
"During the last couple of years he'd done a lot of soul searching. He was excited about making plans and moving forward. In the past few months he was the happiest I'd ever seen him," he said.
Collings was a 1983 graduate of Carson High School and worked as an aviation mechanic for Mansberger Aircraft at the Minden-Tahoe Airport.
He enjoyed designing, building and flying experimental aircraft and restoring automobiles. He worked as an auto mechanic prior to his involvement with airplanes.
A member of the Art of Living Spiritual group in Carson City and a master graduate of the Rapport Institute in Las Vegas, Collings was the1983 Tae Kwon Do state champion.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1987.
He is survived by his mother of Carson City; brother Brian and sister-in-law Brenda of Carson City; and sister Cathy Collings of Nevada City, Calif.
Brenda Collings said her brother-in-law's ashes will be spread over Lake Tahoe.