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non-sport.com

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Everyone,
I just received word that my good friend Chuck Millburn passed away on Monday. He had been battling cancer for the last several months but finally succumbed to his illness.

As most of you know, Chuck and I started http://www.non-sport.com together. When Chuck was laid off from his job at age 51 he retired early to care for his wife who had severe MS and was basically bed ridden. Chuck has been her sole care taker for the past 20+ years and could rarely leave the house. So while taking care of his wife he spent thousands of hours scanning and documenting cards for the database. I met with Chuck a few weeks ago and he told me his biggest regret was that he didn't get everything in the database the way he wanted it. Chuck is leaving a tremendous void in my life but his tireless contribution to this hobby we all love will hopefully endure for many years to come.

Blessedly, his wife passed away a few weeks ago.

[15] 

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Todd Riley
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Reply with quote  #2 
Sad news indeed. I'm relatively new to the non-sport community but it didn't take me long to realize that Chuck was a major contributor to the online database of knowledge. I appreciate his passion for and contributions to the hobby. My thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.
teza

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Reply with quote  #3 

That is very sad news.  Chuck was someone that I’d call a friend even though we never actually met. 

Chuck was a customer of mine for many years, and one of a handful of guys that I did not think twice about sending his purchases out in advance of receiving payment.  I always knew that his check (along with a hand-written index card summarizing the transaction) would arrive shortly.  It always did. 

Chuck was a significant contributor to our hobby and gave endless hours building Todd’s non-sport database.  He was always there to help identify a card when I personally had no idea what it was.  I knew that something was up when Chuck told me several weeks back that he was in the hospital.  I also noticed last week that no new additions were added to Todd’s site.  Not a good sign knowing Chuck’s diligence at making additions. 

Chuck was my nomination for Non-Sportsman of the Year last year.  I’d like to recommend that he be honored posthumously at some point in the future. 

Chuck’s friend,

Jeff

non-sport.com

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I agree with Jeff. Chuck was also my nomination for Non-Sportsman of the Year last year and it would be a nice honor.
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Boy do I feel guilty about being Non-Sportsman of the year!  I figured Chuck would get the nod next year.  I guess it's a good lesson that maybe there isn't going to be a next year and that we should do what needs to be done today and enjoy each day. 

I don't believe I ever had any personal communications with Chuck, but I certainly have benefitted from his diligent work on Todd's site and his contributions here on this board.  He will be missed by his family and friends, and by those of us in his Non-Sports family.  Good-bye Chuck.  - Jack J.
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Jack, No need to feel guilty! You are a well deserving recipient of the award (as are all of the other candidates).
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Reply with quote  #7 
Awful news.  Awful news.  I know Chuck put thousands of hours into the nonsport DB and his contributions to the hobby were numerous.  I went to the Pittsburgh show for years before I finally met Chuck a couple years back.  We had a mutual friend in J.D. Heckathorn who is a BB card dealer who did that show.  I met him at JD's table and we had some good conversation those couple of days.  I know his devotion and care for his wife was his primary concern for many years.  He saw that through the end I guess.  Chuck won a couple lots from the most recent auction I did and paid quickly like always.  Really hate to hear this and praying for his family and loved ones.  


KenBush

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Reply with quote  #8 
Very, very sad to hear about Chuck. I never had the chance to meet him, but we did
sent a lot of email to each other. I sent him many adds to Todds data base and no
matter what or how much I sent he always posted it with no complaints and a thank
you.

Ken Bush

PS - I also noticed the lack of new postings and was worried that there was a problem.
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Reply with quote  #9 
This is very sad news.  I too had dealings and emails with Chuck and always felt like he was one of the great contributors  to the hobby.  I always loved the story he told of how he got a huge part of his collection from an old timer who just happened to be a neighbor.

He will definitely be missed, but not forgotten as one of the modern day non-sport heroes.

Jerry B

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Reply with quote  #10 
wow sad news, condolences to all his collecting friends and family...
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Reply with quote  #11 
Sad news indeed, sorry for your loss Todd.  I didn't know Chuck directly but felt and feel a connection every time I'm on the non-sport database and see his name tied to so many entries.  He gave so much to the hobby and it sounds like to his wife.  What a great man, he will be missed.
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Reply with quote  #12 

I looked up to Chuck for many years, knowing I never could walk in his webpage footsteps. He was the Master.  Hope he's looking down at us, smiling, knowing he was so respected.

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Reply with quote  #13 
Wow Todd, you told me he wasn't well, but I didn't think the end was so close. Is is wife still alive? What a loss all the way around. He sounds like a saint. 
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Reply with quote  #14 
Heartbreaking news!

I didn't know Chuck like some here did but was always in awe at his collection and was amazed at his willingness to share! It seems like every item I covet on Todd/Chuck's website had the "Courtesy Chuck Millburn" next to the image. We need more Chuck Millburn's not less!
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Reply with quote  #15 
Kurt.....back earlier Todd said Chuck's wife had passed.  Happens to a LOT of caregivers--especially those who have done it as long as Chuck.  I remember when talking to him at the Pittsburgh show the first time I met him that his son or someone had come over to sit with his wife so he could have a few hour break to go to the show.  While he did an amazing amount for nonsports, I can't get over that level of devotion to his wife.  I can't conceive of doing that for 20 years.  The emotional and physical toll would be immense.  That is the true definition of love.  I could only hope to do that if ever put in that position.


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Reply with quote  #16 
Well said, Tom
Peace to Chuck.
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Reply with quote  #17 
Very Sad News!!!!

I have never met Chuck but he had been a great customer of mine for 20 years. I can totally relate to what Jeff said - Chuck always paid by check with the transaction confirmed on an index card. He was always a gentleman. It gives you a great idea of the kind of person he was with his dedication to his wife whom he took care of 20 years. This will be a huge loss for the hobby. I agree with Jeff & Todd with nominating Chuck for Non-Sportsman Of The Year. This would be the year to do it everyone! He will most certainly get my vote when the time comes. My heart and prayers go out to all of his family & friends.

Monty
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Reply with quote  #18 
Tom,
You can't even imagine how tough it was. Chuck told me some stories that floored me. I'm not going to repeat them here. He really was a saint both to his wife and to me and the database.

Jerry,
I love that story as well.  When I visited him recently I had him reiterate the story to me:

He mentioned to a neighbor that he collected cards. That neighbor told another who came and knocked on Chuck's door. He told him he had a bunch of cards and wondered if Chuck was interested in them. Chuck was skeptical (thinking it was probably a bunch of junk) but went to look at it anyway. Needless to say he was blown away! He ended up getting around 50,000 items from the 1920's on back from his neighbor. Major collections of: N, T, E, J, K, H, B, S, L (and more) cards/items. Chuck worked on these items for quite some time and then put on a display of tobacco "type" cards at one of the Philly Non-sport shows. It was at this show where we talked and he agreed to help me with the database project. So it was because of this collection that the database is as great as it is.

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Reply with quote  #19 
Why can't I find neighbors like that? (The only thing my neighbors give me are mosquito larva and dandelion seeds!)

At least I'm a little relieved his wife wasn't left alone after he passed away. For some reason, they seem to notice widows survive longer after their husbands die than when a man is left along after his mate passes (but I'm sure in her health case, that wouldn't be the case). I guess we all have to live like our days are numbered-- because there is a good chance they just may be!


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Reply with quote  #20 
This is a tough one to hear about. Chuck was one of the shining lights of this site. He will be greatly missed.
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Reply with quote  #21 
Todd, sorry to hear of Chuck's passing. He will be missed. I owe him (and you) a huge debt of gratitude as I use your site extensively in my research of Topps issues. The hobby seems to grow smaller every year...
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