Charles Canterbury (1939 - 2017)

Obituary
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Charles McCarty Canterbury, 78, of Eagle River, Alaska, died Nov. 14, 2017, after a brave five-year battle with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.
Chuck was born Aug. 23, 1939, in Clifton Springs, N.Y., the son of Andrew and Marguerite Canterbury, and spent his high school years playing baseball and football for the Kent School in Connecticut. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University, majoring in English and Ecology.
After college, in 1964, Chuck joined the Army, completing Officer Candidate School, earning the National Defense Service Medal, and serving as a public information officer. Upon his honorable discharge as a first lieutenant in 1970, Chuck continued to serve the U.S. Army in a civilian capacity for the next 42 years.
After stints in public affairs offices at Fort Drum in New York, Fort Meade and Fort Dietrich, both in Maryland and Cameron Station in Virginia, he was afforded the opportunity to pursue his boyhood dream of heading north to Alaska, where he joined the Public Affairs Office at Fort Richardson in August of 1974. He traveled up the Alcan Highway with his wife, Anne, and their two children, Christopher and Heather. The planned three-year tour quickly turned into a life's commitment to Alaska, as Chuck retired as U.S. Army Alaska's Media Relations Officer in December 2012 after 38 years there.
Chuck enjoyed serving the Army's Alaska headquarters, and the unique opportunities the job afforded; he traveled to every corner of the state, including: Barrow, Nome, St. Lawrence Island, Adak, Dutch Harbor and Sitka to cover various exercises, including Arctic Warrior. He coordinated visits by President Reagan, Pope John Paul II and the King of Norway; and chronicled the Army's activities here with his weekly column in the Anchorage Times and as managing editor of the Arctic Soldier magazine.
Aside from work, Chuck was fully engaged in the Chugiak-Eagle River community through the activities of his children in school, sports and ballet. He volunteered as the players' agent for Knik Little League for many years and helped spear-head fundraising efforts as he chaperoned the Chugiak High School swing choir on its Hollywood tour in 1985. Chuck was a familiar fixture in the stands for countless baseball and hockey games for his son and ballet performances for his daughter. He loved the holidays; visitors to his home at Halloween would be spooked by his rattling of chains under the front porch; and at Christmas, the tree would be sure to reach the very peak of the ceiling covered in lights and decorations.
Chuck was enraptured by Alaska's majesty and promise of adventure, and he pursued a lifelong passion for the great outdoors enthusiastically. In spring, he delighted in digging razor clams, with his daughter desperately trying to "hold on" to the stubborn, fleet-footed prey. Each summer, Chuck relished a king salmon haul from the winding Little Willow Creek. And in September, one could find him carefully guiding his 19-foot Grumman canoe with its 15-horse Evinrude way up the Deshka River in tandem with his neighbor and good friend, Don Ryan, to hunt moose. Chuck and Anne felt fortunate to have their children return after college to raise their own families in Eagle River.
As a grandparent, Chuck revisited the baseball diamonds and McDonald Memorial Ice Center to cheer on his four grandchildren, Connor and Grace Canterbury and Aiden and Kyle McEwen. Although his pulmonary fibrosis eventually limited his stamina, Chuck would not deign to miss the Tuesday morning round-table at Jitters coffee house where he basked in the companionship of his veteran friends, and at other times could be found sharing a slice of pie with friends at Peggy's diner.
Chuck is survived by his wife of 51 years, Anne Bailly Canterbury; their son, Christopher and his wife, Michaela, and their two children, Connor and Grace; their daughter, Heather McEwen and her husband Paul, and their two children, Aiden and Kyle; and their spoiled-rotten springer spaniels, Katie and Sullivan.
A memorial service will be held in Anchorage at All Saints Episcopal Church on Dec. 21, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Another service will be held in Barneveld, N.Y., at Saint David's early next summer..

Arrangements are with Janssen's Eagle River Funeral Home.
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Evergreen Memorial Chapel - Anchorage
737 E Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-279-5477
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Nov. 19, 2017
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