Charles B. Piper, 79
Charles B. Piper, age 79, passed away peacefully at the Schneidmiller Hospice House on Jan. 3, 2019, after suffering with Alzheimer’s. He was born Oct. 1, 1939, in Orange, N.J., to Angela and John Piper. After attending schools in Chatham, N.J. he attended St. Bonaventure University and then graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J.
On June 25, 1963, he and Patricia DeVoe were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Chatham. Five years later they moved across the country to Seattle, Wash., where they lived for 32 years while raising their two daughters, Heather and Megan.
From an early age, Charlie worked for both his grandfather and father at Piper Homes, Inc., and then in Seattle he was self-employed with Piper Construction and built custom homes.
He had many hobbies — woodworking, gardening, golfing, photography, NASCAR and storytelling — but he had four main interests over his lifetime. He was 13 years old when he began racing hydroplanes on the Rideau Lakes in Ontario, Canada and in 1963 he was elected to the Gulf Marine Hall of Fame for his many wins and speed records.
His love of fishing began in Canada also; spending his summers trolling the lakes. Later, he began steelhead fishing on the many rivers in western Washington. He tied his own flies and built graphite rods for himself as well as for those he loved. The highlight of his life, though, was his many trips to Alaska, floating down a river, fishing and camping out along the way.
He began hunting at an early age, learning from his grandfather and father at their hunting camp in Pennsylvania near Lake Wallenpaupack. While living in Washington, he hunted near Winthrop with his race car buddies and mostly hunted in North Idaho with his brother-in-law, John Runge. He shot traps and skeet for several years at the Coeur d’Alene Trap and Skeet Club on the Runge Furniture Team.
At age 55 he took up racing again, not driving boats, but working in the pits with the Huson Sprint Car Racing Team at the track in Skagit, Wash. He loved those years with his many friends, washing cars, changing tires, building carriers and traveling with the crew.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Angela Shaune Piper; and his beloved daughter, Megan Therese Piper. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patti and his daughter, Heather Piper-Vasquez (Alan) of California; two beautiful grandsons, Ben and Jeff; his brother, retired Captain John C. Piper, USN (Teresa) of New Jersey; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Nancy Runge; and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
A private family committal will be held. There will be a public “Irish Wake/Celebration of Life” that will take place on April 13, 2019, with the time and place yet to be determined and published in a later notice. The family expresses gratitude to Hospice House and Hospice of North Idaho for their love and many kindnesses, Yates Funeral Home for their care and support, and Wellspring Meadows for their constancy and love shown to Charlie while in adult daycare there.
If one wishes to donate in Charlie’s memory, donations can be made to Hospice of North Idaho, 2290 W. Prairie Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.
Yates Funeral Home is entrusted with final arrangements. Please visit Charlie’s online memorial and sign his guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.