Charles Abshire
(1927 - 2015)

Charles Abshire

April 12, 1927

January 1, 2015

Charles William “Chuck” Abshire passed away at age 87 in Troutdale, Oregon on January 1, 2015. Born in Schuyler, Nebraska on April 12, 1927 to Joseph Peter “Pete” and Ethel (Sumption) Abshire, the family soon moved to the Buhl and Castleford, Idaho area where Chuck spent his childhood growing up in the company of his parents, paternal grandparents, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

After graduating from Buhl High School, Chuck entered service in the US Navy during WWII and was training for the invasion of Japan when the war ended. Leaving the Navy shortly thereafter, he enrolled at the University of Idaho where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and completed a Bachelor’s degree in history. It was at the University of Idaho that he met his future wife, Cleo Lenz. The couple married in February of 1952 and within a few months moved to Durham, North Carolina where Chuck received a Master’s degree in military history from Duke University. Upon completing graduate school, Chuck and Cleo moved to American Falls, Idaho where Chuck served as high school principal. During this time, their first two children, Susan and (Charles) Tom, were born.

Chuck changed from working in secondary to higher education when he took a job at Reedley College in Reedley, California. The family later moved to Yakima, Washington where Chuck was Dean of Students at Yakima Valley College and where their youngest child, Jean, was born. A job as Director of the Library at Mt. Hood Community College brought the family to the Portland, Oregon area in 1969. Chuck remained in charge of the library and also taught history at MHCC until his retirement in 1990, shortly before the death of his wife, Cleo. During these years, he was an active member and congregational leader at Ascension Lutheran Church and a member of the board of Portland Lutheran School.

Chuck’s retirement years were spent traveling around the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, often with his loving companion, Fredia Moore, perched by his side. He continued active involvement in Ascension Lutheran Church and also served on the board of directors of Mt. Hood Hospice. He was a voracious reader and for many years regularly met friends for coffee to discuss and solve the world’s problems. In recent years he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Chuck will be remembered for his intelligence and wit and for being a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

Chuck was preceded in death by his beloved wife Cleo Abshire and his daughter-in-law Laura (Gratton) Abshire. He is survived by his three children Susan (Norm) Monaco (Beaverton, OR), Tom Abshire (Duvall, WA), and Jean Abshire (Louisville, KY); as well as his loving companion Fredia Moore (Gresham, OR); and grandchildren Laura Doucet (Beaverton, OR), Joseph Monaco (Beaverton, OR), Jacob Monaco (Eugene, OR), Ellie Monaco (Beaverton, OR), Elizabeth Abshire (Ann Arbor, MI), and Maddie Abshire (Seattle, WA); and two great grandchildren, Eleanora Doucet and Jaxon Monaco.

Funeral services will take place on Wednesday, January 7 at 11 a.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1440 SE 182nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97233. Chuck will be buried with his wife, Cleo, at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. At Chuck’s request, memorial gifts may be made to the Cleo Abshire Ministerial Endowment Fund at Ascension Lutheran Church.

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Guest Book (14 entries)
Sending my condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. Death is something never easy to deal with. It leaves hearts heavy with pain and sadness. But you can gain comfort from God's word the Bible. Soon God will rid the earth of death and its painful effects forever.-Revelation 21:3, 4.
chevelle busby
March 2nd, 2015
So sorry for your family's loss. What an interesting life Mr. Abshire had! I thank him for his service.
Patty Mendenhall (Friend of Susan Monaco)
January 10th, 2015
Sorry to hear of your loss. Hugs to you, Jean, and your family. Safe travels home.
Leigh Ann Meyer (Friend of Jean)
January 8th, 2015
I am so sorry about your loss and wish you peace at this difficult time.

Mindy Badia (friend of daughter Jean)
January 8th, 2015
My condolences go to the whole family. Because I cannot thank him, I thank the family for his service in WWII.
Lisa Calvin (Friend of Jean)
January 7th, 2015
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"I am so very sorry for your loss."
Brandy Wood
January 12th, 2015


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