Charles Zelford North
1923 - 2020
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October 12, 1923 ˜ October 19, 2020

Charles Zelford North passed away on Oct. 19, 2020, one week after his 97th birthday, in Kalama, WA, surrounded by his loving children. He is now reunited in heaven with the love his life, Shirley, his wife of 65 years.
Charles was born at home in Selmer, TN, to Carlos and Dola North. His mother passed away when he was 12 years old and his grandpa and grandma raised him and his siblings. It was a hard life and they didn’t have much money, but they always had food on the table provided by the land they worked and the animals they raised. He had a lot of great memories from those simple times.
After graduating from Michie High School in McNary County, TN, in 1942, he joined the US Coast Guard Reserve. World War II was in full swing and he was soon deployed to active duty status with the US Navy. He was at sea until the end of the war in 1945.
A few years later he met his beautiful wife while working at a warehouse. They married after a short courtship and had four children. In the early 1960s, jobs were scarce in the South and, with some coaxing from his brother, who had moved to Portland, OR, he packed the family and whatever else he could fit in the car and moved to the Pacific NW. His brother (Howard) and family took us all in until dad could find work and housing.
He soon landed a job with Pacific Power & Light working on the line crew. A few years later, we welcomed our little brother, Chris, into the world. He worked in Cougar, WA, where he became a hydroelectric operator at Swift Creek Dam. He retired from PP&L in 1988.
Our dad was a true southern gentleman until the very end. We will miss his stories, his kindness, his love for casinos and chocolate. But, most of all we will miss his love and devotion to our family.
Charles was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; son, Dan; two sisters and two brothers.
He is survived by his children, Tom (Cheryl), Teresa Frick (Tom), Cecelia Blodgette (Bob) and Chris (Julia); nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a viewing at Vancouver Funeral Chapel, 110 E. 12th St., Vancouver, WA 98660 on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, from 5-7 p.m. for those that want to pay their respects. Masks are required.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be a private family only service, on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
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Published in The Columbian on Oct. 27, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
November 5, 2020
It was on the mourn
That I saw a ship a sailing
The sea was calm
The winds were fair
Charles was young
And he was at the rail
With shipmates once again.---rs
Roger B. sheetz, USN
October 29, 2020
Oh I am so sorry to see your Dad here, I will always remember how he used to love to dance at Nicks.
Jenny Sawyer Tingley
October 28, 2020
What a beautiful obituary. Yes, their life was hard but had so much love for each sibling. We are praying for all of you.
Ed and Melanie Rickman (niece)
Melanie Rickman
October 27, 2020
Funny, wonderful husband and father. So sorry for your loss, but so happy for all the wonderful years you had with him.
Cheri Becerra
October 27, 2020
There was and is only one uncle in my life. Growing up I knew him as my dads brother, who loved Johnny Cash and his family. He was giving of the most important gift, love. I’m so grateful that in the scheme of life he and Aunt Shirley chose to make the Northwest their home. I cannot imagine a life without having Uncle Charlie and Aunt Shirley in it. His gift of love can be seen in each of his children and grandkids. I will miss him immensely, but take heart he is with those he loves once again. This photo is from Dads climbing rose, that continues on. I hope it brings you peace and comfort. Much love, always.
Pamela North
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