Longtime Soldotna and Kenai resident Charles “Charlie” B. Gerrish died Sunday, June 3, 2007, at his home. He was 78.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, June 22, at the Soldotna Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. No. 2706, 44640 Parkway Ave. in Soldotna. A memorial potluck will immediately follow the service. Military honors will be performed by the VFW Post No. 10046 and the American Legion Post No. 20. Mr. Gerrish’s ashes will be scattered at his favorite fishing spots in the Kenai River and in the Alder Stream in Eustis, Maine.
Mr. Gerrish was born Nov. 3, 1928, to Neal W. and Laura B. Gerrish in Oakfield, Maine. He was a graduate of Stratton High School, entered the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Germany for six years. While living in Germany he endeared himself to his sister and her sons when he airmailed a beautiful Irish Setter to them. One of these sons had also received his first rifle from Uncle Charlie.
“His love of dogs was heartwarming. Whenever you saw Charlie you saw his dogs,” his family said.
After retiring from the Air Force, he settled in Somers, Conn., where he realized his dream of becoming a pilot. Mr. Gerrish was an avid fisherman and on many occasions fished with his friend, the basketball great John Havlicek. He eventually worked for L.L. Bean and while on a trip for his employer to Alaska, he fell in love with the beautiful state and made it his permanent home. He was well loved in Soldotna, where he owned Charlie’s Tackle for a number of years and also drove a school bus for Laidlaw Transit for 20 years. He retired in January at 78 years old.
Mr. Gerrish was preceded in death by is parents; brother, Donald Gerrish; and son, Charles Gerrish Jr. He is survived by his daughter, Diana Galeassi and her children, Charles and Jonathan Galeassi, all of Albany, N.Y.; sisters, Margaret Scribner of Stratton, Maine, Marjorie Knapp of Falmouth, Maine and Mary McCutcheon of South Portland, Maine; sister-in-law, Beatrice Gerrish of Burlington, Vt.; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Gerrish’s memory to the Animal Refuge League, P.O. Box 336, Westbrook, ME, 04098.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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