Charles Anderson Jr.

Obituary
  • "To Patti & family, I just saw this & very sorry to here of..."
    - Dale Schramm
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    - Doris Kempen
  • "I love you Charlie....miss u everyday ..still....."
  • "Thinking of Charlie this weekend and all the light he..."
    - Paula Stepp
  • "On this day, Charlie's brithday, we remember our brother..."
    - Marc

Charles "Charlie" Gustav Anderson Jr., 53, died April 15, 2011, at home in Anchorage.

A public viewing was held at Evergreen Memorial Chapel. After a private memorial service, a public reception was held to celebrate Charlie's life at the Hotel Captain Cook.

Charlie was born Feb. 2, 1958, in Anchorage and was raised there.

His life was filled with sports. He broke high school track records, then went on as an Alaska state tennis champion for many years.

Charlie attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and acquired degrees in criminal justice and psychology. He maintained an active lifestyle, raising his son, Chas, and contributing to the Anchorage community.

He worked hard to emerge as a business leader and president of Marsh USA/Anchorage Division.

He was very proud of his Native Alaskan Aleut (Alutiiq) heritage. He was a board member of Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

Six years ago, Charlie's life changed dramatically. Diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumor, grade IV, he underwent brain surgery at UCSF, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. A pulmonary embolism then occurred, greatly affecting his vision, creating legal blindness and partial paralysis on the right side of his body.

After nearly two years in a wheelchair, he regained not only the ability to walk again but also to run, ski, dance, bike and swim.

He worked extensively with a speech therapist, Anne ver Hoeff, to overcome speech aphasia. Among his many presentations, he gave a testimonial at Challenge Alaska thanking them for the therapeutic ski program and for helping to make dreams come true. He also gave many inspiring talks, including motivational speaking engagements at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Raven's Ball, the Alaska Center for the Blind and numerous schools throughout Anchorage and Eagle River.

Charlie explained his motivations thus: "I am compelled to reach out now and help others."

On Easter Sunday 2007, Charlie met Carole Chambers, a volunteer ski coach for Challenge Alaska. They fell in love and married on Maui on Nov. 13, 2008, recently celebrating their second anniversary with a return trip to Hawaii.

Charlie and Carole had begun writing an inspirational book, a project currently under way with film producer/author with Francine Lastufka Taylor.

Much can be said regarding Charlie's courage and spirit, and at this moment, words seem inadequate, his family said: "In time to come, we will endeavor to capture the incredible spirit of Charlie and hope to inspire others. We are on a mission to not only advocate for disabilities, legal blindness, and brain cancer, but also for palliative and hospice care."

Charlie celebrated the anniversary of his survival and remission at the five-year mark in February 2011. Then, in March, Charlie's MRI revealed that the tumor had returned, inoperable due to close proximity to his brain stem. He spent the past year undergoing an aggressive chemo regimen at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

"On Charlie's behalf, our family thanks our doctors and nurses at Duke University Brain Tumor Center, UCSF, Providence Hospital and Alaska Native Medical Center," his family said.

"Countless angels have touched our lives in amazing ways and we send our heartfelt appreciation to all!"

Surviving Charlie are his wife, Carole Anderson; son, Chas Anderson; parents, Chuck and Georgia Anderson; sister, Patti and her husband Jim Juliussen; niece, Katrina and her husband Darin Moberg and their daughters Olivia and Aleah; and cousins, Denise Winter, Dennis Winter (Debbie), and Cindy and her daughter Chelsa Winter. Also surviving are special friends and family, Kristina Anderson (Chas' mother), Wyche Ford, Cheri and Karl Bohlin, and niece and goddaughter, Kylie Bohlin. In addition, many members of Carole's family survive Charlie, including her brothers and sisters, Susan Armendariz, Paula Martin, Daniel Audick, Christopher Audick, John Audick, David Audick and Michael Audick and their families.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Brain Tumor Association (www.abta.org) and Challenge Alaska (www.challengealaska.org).





Published in Anchorage Daily News from Apr. 19 to Apr. 20, 2011