Charley passed away with loving family at his side after a brief battle with cancer. The third of four boys, Charley grew up on Horsehead Bay in the Gig Harbor area and graduated with a science degree from the UW. Putting that degree to use, he soon began a long career as a fisherman in Alaska. For most of his adult life, Charley spent the better part of each year in Bristol Bay and other Alaskan fishing grounds, catching salmon, halibut, herring, and others. It was extremely hard work, and didn’t make for an easy life, but Charley loved it and believed fishing to be a most noble profession.
As if captaining the Equinox wasn’t enough, Charley developed a straight-to-market, fresh frozen fish business called Finest Kind Seafoods. Charley worked tirelessly to build a regional customer base and proved himself a successful salesman and entrepreneur. Charley also took up wood turning, and created beautiful vases, bowls, and other objects.
Charley split his heart between the wild waters of Alaska and the tranquil beauty of Vashon Island, where he lived for nearly 40 years. Friends from childhood, the Bristol Bay fishing community, and those close to him at home will remember Charley’s big heart, generosity and thoughtfulness, inimitable work ethic, creativity and artistry, and indefatigable optimism.
Charley was a beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend, and he will be missed dearly by them all. Brothers David (Lyn), Steve (Julie), Gavin (Lia), and nieces (Jayme, Jenni, and Ciera) thank the medical staff and others who helped make his last days as comfortable as possible. Charley was preceded in death by his parents, Dave and Betty Gordon. He also leaves four great-grand nephews and a great-grand niece, all of whom held a special place in his heart. A celebration of Charley will be held at a later date and his family hopes all who knew and loved him will join us in remembering this wonderful soul.
Guestbook may be signed at washelli.com