Charles Philip Houglum

June 4, 1927 ~ August 13, 2016
" To know him was to love him.
Charles embraced everything he did with passion."

Charles Philip Houglum died at his daughter Becky's home in Battle Ground, WA after a long illness. He was born at home in Perley, MN to Lawrentz Oscar Houglum and Stella Margarethe Jacobson. His parents brought their family to Vancouver, WA in 1943, where Charles joined his father, brothers, and cousins, working in the Kaiser Shipyards. He graduated from Vancouver High in 1945.
Charles was a Navy veteran, enlisting just days before his 18th birthday in 1945, and while home on leave after basic training, celebrated with the entire country as World War II came to a close. He spent the next 2 years working on cleanup at Pearl Harbor, and cooking for the officer's mess. His love of cooking never left him!
After his discharge from the Navy, Charles attended Clark College, graduating in June 1948.
On Sept. 5, 1948, he married Annabelle Jeanne Haley, and they moved to Bellingham, WA, where Charles completed his Bachelor degree in Education at Western Washington State College.
Charles moved to Longview, WA where he began his teaching career in the Longview School District.
He was the consummate teacher, using his deep faith to approach his students with love, compassion, respect, and fairness. He taught in the Longview School District for 29 years. He left Longview in 1980 to return to Bellingham, ending his 30-year teaching career in Linden, WA in 1981.
Charles taught voice and piano lessons from his home. He led choirs in several Lutheran churches _ wherever he and Mom lived _ retiring on his 80th birthday because he didn't know any other 80-year-old choir directors!
Charles sang barbershop, and played basketball and baseball as a young man. And he never lost his love for baseball, leading many groups to Seattle to watch the Mariners over the years. How fitting that they enjoyed a crazy win streak the last week of his life! He loved hearing about their games, even when he was too weak to watch.
His grandchildren all rocked in beautiful hardwood rockers that he built using his antique rocker from Sears and Roebuck in 1930 as his pattern. Doll cradles, airplanes, trucks, tables, benches, bedroom sets, dressers, homes, garages _ you name it, he was always there to help build STURDY works of art.
He was beloved! If you called him friend,
he treated you as family.
He welcomed the family's first exchange student in 1966, calling her and all subsequent ones his own kids. He loved them all truly and was grateful to the end that they had stayed a part of his extended, international family.
Charles lived his life putting God first, and people next. He truly understood how to use things, not people, and love people, not things. No one has forgotten his kindnesses, and he always remembered those who touched his life fondly.
Charles leaves behind, his aunt, Eleanor Jacobson Simons; two brothers, Burton and Larry (Yvonne); daughters, Becky (Ron) Hambright, Beth (Gary) Gilhuly, and Angelica Caparroz; sons, Bill (Joy), Bob (Ann), and Francisco (Rose) Caparroz Lopes; 21 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; 5 great-great-grandchildren, with the 6th due in January; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Annabelle (Dec. 31, 2010); his brother, Korman Augustus; and sister, Marian Bernice.
We celebrate his life as we mourn his loss.
He was truly one of a kind.
His memorial service will be Sat., Aug. 27th at 2p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Longview, WA.
Arrangements are entrusted to Columbia Funeral Services.
Please sign his guest book at

Published in The Columbian on Aug. 21, 2016