Charles Eugene Gagnon was born on February 24, 1934, to Eugene and Inez Gagnon in Minneapolis, MN. From an early age, Chuck expressed a love for art, often drawing and carving soap, wood, clay, and even potatoes. Also, Chuck competitively played golf, baseball, and speed skated. There was a tradition in his family that all boys must go to De La Salle High School. In order to attend, Chuck created his own job to dive into the ponds at golf courses and retrieve golf balls to help pay for his education. After graduating high school in 1952, Chuck joined the Navy, and later earned his Master’s (1960) degree from the University of Minnesota. In 1957 through 1958, he was one of ten US students chosen to teach in military-dependent schools in Germany.