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Obituary Condolences

Charles A. ("Chuck") Gonser, Jr. Born May 28, 1924, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2013 in Medford, Oregon with his family gathered around him. A kind and thoughtful man, Chuck was always more concerned about others than himself. He married his college sweetheart, Alice Carlson, and his greatest pleasure came from caring for her. Chuck was born and raised in Spokane, WA where his father was the administrator of Hutton Settlement, an orphanage established before the depression by a wealthy mining couple who themselves had been orphans. Chuck spent much of his childhood with his father at the orphanage and it had a profound influence on him and his life-long desire to help others. He was generous with his time, always willing to help, had the patience of a saint and an endearing sense of humor. As a boy, he loved to spend time outdoors with his father and his younger brother Bob, trout fishing at Deer Creek and duck and pheasant hunting. Chuck received an appointment to the Naval Academy, but a bout with rheumatic fever kept him from attending. When he recovered, he joined the Navy and served in World War II. After college at Washington State and the University of Washington, he started at Otis Elevator Company where he worked as an executive for forty-one years, including as a regional vice-president. He made many life-long friends at Otis. A highlight of his career was managing the Honolulu office before Hawaii's statehood. There are many fond memories of sitting with him on the lanai eating dinner and watching the sun set over the ocean by Diamond Head. For forty years he and Alice lived in the same house in Sleepy Hollow. When Chuck wasn't duck hunting or fishing after retiring, he could be found in his khakis moving pots around the garden to capture the perfect light for his wife Alice, an avid gardener. Afterwards they would take an evening swim, and enjoy a barbeque on their patio. He loved to go salmon fishing with his friends, and his family eagerly awaited his return, anticipating the fresh fish that he would drop off on his way home. Chuck was a wonderful father who unselfishly gave his children his love and time. He made sure our homework was done and happily attended cheerleading and sporting events and ceremonies. As children we may not have appreciated all of his attention but as adults we are thankful for his patience and sacrifice and for the time we spent together. We love and miss you, Dad, and take solace in the fact that we were there to hold your hand and let you know how much we love you. Chuck is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Alice; by his daughter Christine Seiken and her husband Aron Seiken, and their sons, Nick and Ben; and by his son Carl Gonser and his wife Janis Peterson.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Mar. 19, 2013
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