Dec. 28, 1947 — Dec. 29, 2017
Charles “Chuck” Roger Early transitioned suddenly from earth on Dec. 29, 2017, in Astoria, Oregon. He was surrounded by love, with his family by his side.
For 70 years and one day, the world had the best damn Marine, husband, unionizer, gardener, gambler, father, brother, farmer, picker, poppa, friend and prankster that there ever was. Chuck lived dangerously and loved wholeheartedly. He was politically incorrect, inappropriate, uncontrollable and the toughest guy we knew. We will miss him forever.
Chuck was born in Amity, Oregon, to the late Charles and Betty Early in 1947. He has four sisters, Marcia Love, Anita (Henry) TudTud, Becky Turner and Elaine (Ethan) Nicely; and two brothers, Stephen Early and Michael (Hazel) Early.
Chuck enlisted in the Marines in 1967. He was a Purple Heart combat veteran who served two tours in Vietnam. In 1969, Chuck was critically wounded during combat; he spent 13 months in a Navy hospital before returning to civilian life in 1970. Chuck was proud of his service to our country; he was fearless and honorable.
In 1971, Chuck married the late Barbara Schellhas. Together they had a daughter, Patricia, whom they lost in infancy. He cared for her children, Robin Bowen, Jamey Palek, Johnny Schellhas and Joey Schellhas. He has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren from this union. They divorced in 1986.
Chuck married Shawn’a Haglund in 1987. Together they had Elyse “Elly” Early and Charles “Charlie” Early. He helped to raise and loved her children, Marisa (Todd) Flukinger and James (Jessica) Haglund, as his own. He cherished, and was very close with, his eight grandchildren; they affectionately call him Poppa Chuck, and he affectionately called them every name but their own. They divorced in 2014.
Chuck worked most of his years for the Clatsop County Road Department, and retired in 2004. He enjoyed being a “roadie,” and made lifelong friends there.
Chuck loved to hunt and looked forward to his many years in the woods with his longtime hunting party. He liked his coffee breaks, video poker and lunches during the week with his friends. He enjoyed his meetings, and appreciated the friendship and support he got from them.
In his retirement, Chuck discovered his eye for antiques, and made a hobby of finding old furniture and making it beautiful again. He loved collecting glass, art and just about anything that caught his eye.
In 2017, he married Suzanne Benscoter. He was friends with her children Chris, Joe and Kasey Cain, and enjoyed her mother’s company. Suzanne was his love, friend and companion, and he had plans to travel with her in the coming years.
Chuck lives on through his wife, children, grandchildren, family and friends.
The family has planned a service on Jan. 27, 2018, to be held at the First United Methodist Church, 1076 Franklin Ave, Astoria, at 1 p.m.