Long before I met Chuck Westfall, I knew his name.
In the early days of the Internet, camera enthusiasts would dial into Prodigy or CompuServe to have their questions answered. Most of this community felt free to reach out to the major brands with their inquiries on just about anything.
Both Canon and Nikon had weapons who would spend hours answering the most inane questions for the random masses. Nikon’s weapon was Richard LoPinto, who never met a question he didn’t like to ramble on about. Canon’s answer man was Chuck Westfall.
When I heard of Chuck’s passing last week, I instantly remembered something about him I never shared with anyone. At the time, having never met Chuck personally, I had to carve an image of him in my mind. The way he answered his questions so confidently, I pictured this 35-year-old stud riding around in a red Mustang convertible—Izod shirt, white pants, sandals, flowing blond hair down to his shoulders, just cruising around Sunset Boulevard in LA, waving to his adoring fans.
So when I met Chuck for the first time many years ago, I was taken aback. He was just about the exact opposite of what I envisioned him to be. But one thing was consistent. He always had the answer, and he would patiently explain just about anything you asked him.
Chuck continued to be Canon’s answer man for much of his career. He was always the consummate gentleman, with his quiet demeanor and patience for just about any question that would be asked. I don’t know anyone in this industry who didn’t respect and admire him. Most of all, we all liked him.
He and I had talked often about his cancer diagnosis, and I could appreciate the struggles Chuck had gone through. But, as you would expect, he always held his head high as he continued his fight.
Chuck Westfall YouCaring Fund
I, along with the rest of our industry, was so sorry to hear about his passing. A number of longtime friends of Chuck have created
a YouCaring page to help subsidize his daughter’s college fund. If Anna receives a full or partial scholarship, university or
government grants, or other financial support, all remaining YouCaring funds raised by this campaign will be provided to local students with financial need. If you’d like to contribute, please go to youcaring.com and search for Chuck Westfall.
The industry has lost one of its true pioneers. Rest in peace, Chuck.