Celebrating The Life of Charles F. Gardenhire
Charles, aka “Buddy Gardenhire”, was born in Topeka, Kansas on September 6, 1933, to Ulysses Chiles and Evelyn Alexander. Always looking for opportunities to grow, Charles enlisted in the military (Army) in 1950 at the age of 17. Charles fought in combat during the Korean War and was awarded the combat infantry badge.
In 1954, Charles moved to Portland, OR with then wife Bessie Chiles and from this union they had seven children. After discharge in 1956, Charles became a Merchant Marine in 1960 until he retired in 1995 from American President Lines. During his years at sea, Charles met the love of his life and soul mate, Petra Gardenhire. They united in holy matrimony in 1985 and were married for 36 years until his death. Together, they raised three children.
Charles became a truck driver and was employed with Mayflower and UPS where he retired in 2010 after being employed for ten years at the ripe age of 77 years old. Charles received numerous awards recognizing his excellent work ethic as a top employee. Often told by his supervisor, “Charles you outwork these young men on the job who are twice as young you are.” Charles was always known to be a hard worker.
Charles met no strangers and people would naturally gravitate toward him and engage in long conversations, whereby he left them his wisdom and knowledge about life and his love for the Lord. Telling everyone “Always put God first.” Charles was an active member of the Masonic Lodge-Prince Hall Grand Lodge 305.
Charles loved sports, but the sport that was dear to his heart was golf. He enjoyed playing with his friends but especially with his sons. This gave them an opportunity to spend quality time together as did their annual road trips.
Charles departed from this life on July 26, 2021 at home surrounded by his loving family. He was preceded in death by his father Ulysses Grant Chiles and mother Evelyn Alexander as well as his brother, Pete Gardenhire.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife of 36 years, Petra Gardenhire, sister Suzanne Chiles, daughters, Charlesetta Booker, Gail Greenwood, Rhonda Chiles, Sonya Warren, Tonya Smith, Julia Ragland, Asia Gardenhire and LaEisha Howard. Sons, Ron Chiles, Kevin Chiles, Aaron Chiles, Charles Fears and Richard Howard. 27 grandchildren, 54 great grandchildren, 15 great-great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends.
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