to see more photos of Charlie, click on painting photo
Making no statement on behalf of any others, the testament to Charlie that I share reflects how I knew him. (Lietta)
Charlie, as you walk now in hand with The One, you are remembered by those who loved you and whom you loved for what
made you uniquely Charlie. You led a life of quiet dignity, and unheralded gifts which you bestowed on family, community
and society. You stood on principles and values, often unannounced publicly but decidely part of what made you You. I
won't deviate from your own quiet way, yet it should be known some of the qualities that you quietly cherished.
Once upon a time, (a story you like to tell), when you met Joy, I asked what your intentions were and in your own way
you knew what you needed to know which was pretty much none of my business. You gave Joy a life of a deep abiding love as
a husband and provider and I smile now at my own youthful anxieties about you entering our lives. Thank you for entering
our lives with your strong and persistent way of knowing what you did not often share with the rest of us and you were 'there'
for her as well as many of the rest of us. Most recently, with our time with you at Christmas, you've given an affectionate
memory that will become part of my Christmas every year forward and I thank you for being so truly Charlie and leaving us
with so many affectionate memories.
You were one of those rather silent contributors to society, a humanitarian and would likely chafe at being called
such. You gave freely and believed in standing on your priniciples, putting your money to good works in improving the good
of humankind. In these times we would call that giving back to society. Yet your way was quiet and while you profess not
to be a religious man, you decidedly were a spiritual man. You walked the path of Great Teacher's teachings in ways few
who profess the Teacher can actually live their lives. How well you understood the principle of the Samaritan in deeper
ways and lived your life in outreach to the outcast and the embraced.
You were what would be known as a 'man's man' in your circles and beloved among the men who shared time with you along
your life. I will never know how you actually felt about the water; but content myself that it was an important part of your
life and will see and feel you in every body of water I encounter. Your belief in the value of the 'unions' to the well
being of the working people stemmed from more than your union membership. Your respect for military service was always solid,
and also reflective along political climates. Your belief in family was not what I heard you verbalize in empty words; it
was always your actions, Charlie, that spoke a truth about how strongly you loved family. Your beliefs in what they call
values in this time was strongly solid and you had a strong sense of right and wrong and a knack for responding to adverse
situations that went against your sense of right and wrong without being judmental. You showed us Grace; may we live our
lives in that light.
You showed us how to cherish the moment and deeply love living life as you survived one risky medical procedure after
another these past years. May we all learn to live in the moment as you've taught us and treasure life experiences, relationships,
valuing each other and one another as you did. You taught us that time is precious and to live it in fullness. You've
left behind a legacy of a principled man and we will continue to learn from lessons you taught in your own life walk.
As Joy travels now in her life walk without your physical presence beside her, we know you admired her courage
and independence, and we know you softened the rough edges of life for her along the way. As you cared for and provided
for her in life and she for you; may I borrow from another teacher to help her in the incomprehensible absence of you, Charlie
and maybe help myself a bit too as one of many who is experiencing your leaving as a hole that cannot be filled. Looking
to the saving grace of healing in accepting the loss of you in this life dimension as we learn to find you again in other
I know in my heart, Charlie, that you would want me to give to Joy something that brings her comfort and I offer up this
verse, one known to her, as she looks for strength at this time of your leaving;
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy
rod and thy staff they comfort me,
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of of the Lord
From the Book of Common Prayer;
Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to
come, knowing thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
I was one of the featured presenters at 3rd anniversary Iraq war rally and march in Tacoma, WA on March 19, 2006. Since the
sponsoring groups included labor unions in Tacoma,including all the longshoremen locals, I dedicated my presentation to showcase
some of Charlie's values and his high regard for the men in uniform in our family currently and in the past. He was able to
always respect the service yet still found way to support my efforts as military family speaking out.
press release about a peace march and rally in Tacoma on Sunday, March 19, the 3rd anniversary of the Iraq War. It is
being sponsored by a diverse coalition of organizations from both the faith and secular communities in Pierce, Thurston and
(including Jobs with Justice labor unions, Charlie's longshoremen union local 23)
Lietta Ruger, (Bay Center, WA), offers perspectives from her history in a military family spanning her childhood and early
adult years, her faith training as Episcopal lay
preacher, her advocacy in her vocation as a social worker, and her current function as chapter coordinator for Washington
chapter of Military Families Speak Out. Ms. Ruger has two returning Iraq veterans facing multiple tours in Iraq in her family.
She is daughter of life-time longshoreman in Puget Sound and honors his recent passing in memory of his strong union ethics
and working- family values.