Charles “Butch” VanArtsdalen was born January 31, 1941, in Norfolk, Virginia. Butch is the oldest of four children of Edwin and Hazel VanArtsdalen, a typical military family in the “War Baby” era.
Our family moved many times in Butch’s early life since our father was in the Navy and stationed anywhere the government needed him. Finally, our family was able to settle in the San Diego area of California when Butch was a pre teen.
In addition to being a wonderful and protective “Big Brother”, he was a great surfer and he was an exceptional athlete in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. After graduating from
La Jolla High School Butch turned down an offer to play professional Baseball for the San Diego Padres.
Instead, he followed his love for the Sea and Surfing!
Butch was handsome and made commercials, modeled men’s apparel, appeared in some Hollywood Beach Party movies, but is perhaps best remembered for his short appearance in the movie “Endless Summer”.
Butch began his early surfing at WindanSea, in La Jolla, California, and then went to Hawaii and was the first to conquer the Banzai Pipeline. After many, many rescues, Butch resigned from his job as a lifeguard for the City and County of Honolulu on March 12, 1979.
On July 18, 1979, Butch passed away at Wahiawa General Hospital in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Shock was a part in his death due to complications from drinking however, he did not have the high fever that put him in a coma until they gave him a blood transfusion that we suspect was not compatible.
Whatever the cause, Butch is at rest in God’s arms now, and his life lessons have taught all of us a tremendous amount about the disease of alcoholism.
Butch left this earth a better place for all of us and helped propel Surfing into a worldwide sport!