Clifford was born at Fishpoint to Dorothy (Lear) and Al Charles. He attended Lummi Day School. He had very fond memories of his days at the school. He attended Bellingham High School where he excelled in higher level mathematics, chemistry and physics.
He enlisted in the Army Aircorp now called the Air Force. He was honorably discharged.
He then attended Washington State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1950. He started paying for his education by fishing in the Nooksack river. He was able to complete college with the GI bill.
After graduating from college in 1950, he began working for Boeing as a mechanical engineer. He worked at different plants …Renton, Seattle and Everett. Some of the planes he worked on were 727 and 747. He retired after 34 years.
He was an avid fisherman. His big catch was a 50 pound king salmon! He loved watching the Mariners and Washington State Cougar games. His other interests were gardening, dancing, camping and working on cars.
Clifford remarried after his wife, Mary died of cancer. Clifford and Catherine traveled around the United States, i.e. Florida, California, Nebraska, Alaska, Texas and Arizona to name a few. His daughters said he probably visited most states in the United States.
In 2003 Cliff and Catherine moved back to the Lummi community. After moving back they enjoyed activities with the elders at Little Bear Creek. He enjoyed reminiscing with other elders i.e. Margaret Greene, Mary Ellen Cagey and others about the days at Lummi Day. He loved the elder trips . .. . going to Yakima, Colville, Siletz, Tulalip and other places they visited.
The last few years of life Cliff remained optimistic. He was still driving and independent until the last six months. He was even telling his daughters the next car he was going to buy.
Clifford was preceded in death by his parents Al and Dorothy Charles; sister Mary Charles Alexander; the Mother of his children, Mary Ann (Bear) Charles.
He is survived by his wife Catherine; his daughters Kathleen Charles, Judy Hottowe and Jean Charles-Azure and her husband Don Azure. Grand child Clifford Azure; brother Gordon Charles; neice, Shawna and Sierra Alexander; foster sister Sharon Woodruff-Wolf and cousin Natalia Hight and numerous other friends and grandchildren with fur (Dog and cat relatives).
Services will be at St. Joachim’s Church at 11:00 a.m. Followed by a luncheon at Wexliem.
- Date & Time: August 18, 2016 (12:00 AM)
- Venue: St Joachim Catholic Church
- Location: 4195 Lummi Shore Rd Bellingham, WA 98225 - (Get Directions)