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Charles Leslie Wilkins
August 17, 1942 ~ November 28, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Charles Leslie Wilkins was born on August 17, 1942, in Everett, WA to Harold and Bridget Wilkins. He was their first born and oldest of four boys. He was raised in Everett and Lake Forest Park and attended schools in Shoreline, WA before his family moved to Lewiston, ID. While in Lake Forest Park, there were many entertaining stories of playing in the woods and fishing in Lake Ballinger with his brothers. He graduated from Lewiston High School in 1961. He was a varsity player in basketball and baseball with major league scouts interested in him. However, upon graduating, he joined the U.S. Navy and proudly served aboard the USS O’Brien. He was on active duty until August 1965 and on reserve duty until his honorable discharge in August 1967.
On September 5, 1964, Charles married the love of his life, Teresa Brown. They were blessed with four children: Karla, Kelly, Keri, and Kevin (KC). His two oldest were born while he was on active duty and his two youngest after his discharge. Charles and his family lived in Marysville, WA until settling in Stanwood, WA in 1973. He was a founding member of Stanwood Camano Junior Athlete Association, and active in little league baseball and basketball. Many former athletes continued to refer to him as Coach, though his favorite athlete was his son, KC. He also continued playing and coaching men’s softball throughout the 70’s and 80’s. In 1989, at the age of 47, his team (with the oldest player average age) won the Moose State Tournament, and he was voted the MVP while playing shortstop!
In 1965, Charles began his career in the lumber industry working for E.A. Nord Door Company (later purchased by Jeld-Wen, Inc.) in Everett. He was consistently promoted until he became their lumber buyer and cutstock controller. He retired in December 2003 but maintained a presence in the lumber industry for several years as an independent consultant before fully retiring in 2008. In 2004, Charles and Teresa settled in Eureka, MT to enjoy retirement on 20 acres of land they purchased in 1994. They briefly moved to Lewiston, ID in 2014 but eventually decided to return to Eureka in 2020.
Anyone who knew Charles understood his love of golf! He was introduced to the sport in the 60’s by his father-in-law, Edgar Brown. He played as often as he could with as many players as he could find until he was unable to in spring 2023. However, his greatest love was his love of family. He attended as many events as he possibly could for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Whether it was sports, dance, or art shows, he was always their biggest supporter and cheering section!
Charles was diagnosed with mesothelioma in spring of 2023. Although he courageously battled the disease, he passed away on November 28, 2023, at 81 years young with his love, Teresa, by his side.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Bridget, and brothers, Steven (Pinky) and Curtis. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Teresa; his children Karla Wilkins (Mark Kehres), Kelly Rabidue, Keri (J.T.) Swinney, KC (Heather Ziese) Wilkins, and his brother Richard Wilkins. His legacy includes nine grandchildren: Ken (Sara) Schmidt, Derek (Jacquilyn) Hafner, Tia Hafner (Ian Mullins), Hunter Rabidue, Rebecca Swinney, Kieran Swinney, Emilio Ziese Wilkins, Lulu Ziese Wilkins, and Anna Ziese Wilkins. He also has seven great-grandchildren: Ryder, Hudson, and Keegan Schmidt; Makenna and Alexa Hafner; Asher and Cru Mullins. In addition, he has many nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends who will cherish his memory.
A celebration of his life will happen in the spring. Our family would like to thank the wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff who cared for our husband and dad over the last year. We also thank everyone who has prayed for our family. We know he has gone to be with our Lord, and we will reunite again in the future. We hope everyone will remember his kind spirit, his love of sports, his wisdom, his gentle smile, and the constant twinkle in his eye! Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Eureka, MT. Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.