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Charles Boyer (Chuck) Stentz


1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Charles Boyer (Chuck) Stentz Obituary
"If the notes don't tell a story, they aren't worth playing." Charles (Chuck) Boyer Stentz, 7/12/1926 5/16/2018 Chuck and his identical twin brother John were born in Olympia, Washington to Vera and Waldo Stentz on July 12, 1926. Their grandfather encouraged the twins to be musical and bought them their first instruments, a clarinet for Chuck and a trumpet for John. But in his freshman year of high school there was a defining moment for Chuck when he put down the clarinet and picked up the tenor saxophone. Although mainly self-taught, he took sax lessons for a year or so in Tacoma, then after a stint in the army, studied at the New England Conservatory for a year. While back east Chuck worked with many well known jazz. bands, including Woody Herman's band, and the Nat Pierce band, with whom he recorded. He returned to Olympia in 1949 and worked all over the Northwest with local bands, often backing famous musicians on tour, such as Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee. Chuck met Jan Swenson and they soon married and started a family. Jan sang and she and Chuck worked together often, though ln the early years they were raising three children -- Dan, Nancy and Paula -- while Chuck built a successful business -- Yenney Music Company - during the week and gigged out of town on weekends. Jan passed away in 1998. ln 2001 Chuck and Cathy married. They spent the last 17 years together, traveling for fun and to gigs, enjoying their 3 cats (Ella, Sarah, and Zoot), and rooting enthusiastically for the Mariners and the Seahawks. Jazz was the driving force in Chuck's life for decades. He found joy in many aspects of music: playing his sax on a daily basis, often with friends; teaching his craft to younger musicians (some of whom he worked with for as long as 60 years); repairing instruments for his friends; mentoring; and gigging. These activities all fed his musical soul. Chuck is survived by his loving, devoted wife Cathy Stentz, his brother John, his son Dan (Lois) and his daughter Nancy (David), their son, Roman, two stepsons, Joe and Russ Gores, as well as five grandchildren, four great grandchildren, 3 nieces and 3 nephews. A celebration of Chuck's life will be held July 1st at Rhythm and Rye Lounge in Olympia, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., to pay tribute to the man who gave us so many years of joy through his wonderful music. ln lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Interfaith Works Emergency Shelter 701 Franklin St. SE, Olympia, WA, 98501.
Published in The Olympian on June 10, 2018
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