Albert Charles "Charley" Vingo, longtime Spokane resident, died June 30, 2011 at the age of 104. He was born in Spokane April 20, 1907 to Mario and Rosaria Vingo, the oldest of six. He grew up in Spokane and was --initiated' into Gonzaga Prep by Bing Crosby. He later attended WSU for two years. As a young man he worked hard trying different businesses until he finally found his niche as a district circulation manager at The Spokesman-Review,
and for 26 years traveled the inland northwest helping to greatly increase the readership. It was during this period that he met and married the love of his life, Kathryn Tennant, in 1938. Upon retiring he told his boss and friend that he'd "given the best years of his life" to the paper, to which his boss replied, "and we're damn glad we got every one of them, too!". After spending so much time on the road, he decided that since he had stayed in so many hotels and motels, that he could operate them working for himself, and stay close to his family. From the early 50's until 1968 he owned and operated The Fircrest Motel, Fircrest Way; The Northern Hotel, Newport, WA; The Webster Hotel, Ellensburg, WA; The Gables Motel, Union Gap, WA. Upon retiring from the hotel/motel business he decided to become a fulltime orchardist in Cowiche, WA from 1964 to 1972. He was never afraid of a challenge and the orchard was a real challenge. At age 64 he went back to college at Yakima Valley Community College to learn everything he could about the orchard business and he always highly praised his instructor and mentor John Cargill for his help and direction in making it a high quality orchard.
In February of 1972 his wife and best friend, Kathryn died of a heart condition. Over the next couple of years he became restless and retired from the orchard business and started a new career in real estate. Charley was a real natural for the real estate business. He enjoyed it more than anything he'd ever done. He always lamented the fact that he should have started when he was young. He loved cobbling real estate deals together and working with people as well as becoming a leader in the trade. He was a member of several clubs and organizations: a lifetime member of the Sandpoint Elks Lodge
, Ellensburg Moose Lodge, Fraternal Order of Eagles, The Grange and the Italian-American Lodge #2172, Spokane, WA. He was proud of his Italian heritage and was an enthusiastic member of the Italian-American club. He believed in joining and being active in promoting membership, scholarships and fund raisers, the annual Italian-American picnic, bocce tournaments and, or course, enjoying Italian food and most importantly the camaraderie. Although not big in stature, he was a powerful force and will be greatly missed by family and friends alike.
Charley is survived by his son Steve Vingo, Yakima, WA; his daughter Christine (Richard) Hoskinson, Spokane Valley, WA; grandchildren James and Jeff Brooks; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn; his parents, Mario and Rosaria Vingo; his sisters Mayme Gerimonte, Mary Vingo, Jessie Sacco; brothers Felix and Louis.
The family offers it's heartfelt thanks to Etta Milla for his longtime support, comfort and friendship to Charley. A better friend would be hard to find. The family also thanks Dr. Thomas La Salle and his staff for their dedication to Charley's health and well-being, and the staff at Deaconess for giving the best care possible and to Hospice for their kind attention. Appreciation also goes to Joe Delay for his friendship and wise counsel. Special thanks to Eli and Brenda Stover who helped with Charley's care and to Richard Hoskinson whose unwavering support to his wife Christine during the several years that they provided care for Charley during his best and worst of times. He would not have lived the life he did without their constant love and support
Visitation will be held Friday, July 8, 2011 at 10 AM with Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11 AM, both at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 330 E. Boone Ave, Spokane, WA. A reception will be held after the Mass from 1 PM until 4 PM at the Riverview Retirement Community's Village East Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent, Spokane, WA 99207. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery.
Please sign his guestbook at www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com.