Remembering Charles Gilkey

"Years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the things that you did do. So throw off your bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  -Mark Twain

Charles was born in Seattle, WA on July 7, 1926. He passed away on May 27, 2022. He is predeceased by his mother, Martha Blake Covert ; father, William E. Gilkey; stepmother, Anne Gilkey; wife of 50 years, Joanne Erholm Gilkey; sister, Corrine Thomas and brothers; Jack and Mark Gilkey.

Charles is survived by wife of 18 years, Marilyn Morrison Volwiler; nephews & nieces: Martin (Linda) Meador, John (Norrita) Thomas, Marnet (Greg) Vammen, Martha Siegert (her children: Blake, Kiam and Callie) and extended family Kimberley Stroyan (her children: Connor and Kalaina). 

Charles grew up in Anacortes and spent many teenage years on Guemes Island. Brother Mark and Charles celebrated the completion of their log cabin on Charles' 14th birthday with family and friends. Another summer they rowed to Victoria with family keeping watch. Charles skied until he was 90 and enjoyed boating the San Juan Islands. Crabbing was a must as was fishing with his pal, Jim Morrison. He sailed in the Northwest Regattas and participated in bringing the sailing vessel, Equator, to Everett, WA.

Charles joined the US Navy in June of 1944 and was on active duty in the South Pacific. On his return, he finished his education at the U of W. He was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity; life member of Everett Elks, Puget Sound and Skagit County Historical Museums and Navy League. Charles retired in 1985 after 35 years with Gilkey-Armstrong Insurance Inc in Everett, WA.

Charles was an avid reader, enjoyed taking and collecting pictures of tugboats, especially the Gilkey Brothers tugboats, and many of the ships passing through the San Juan Islands. He completed two great albums, one of boats and one of the Gilkey families. He was a special person who cared about family and friends, a good listener, and one who loved and cared for the environment he lived in.

A private service will be held for Charles to be interred at Grand View Cemetery in Anacortes, with a memorial stone depicting Joanne and his life.

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