Remembering Charles David Draper, Sr., 1925-2021

Family and friends are remembering Charles David Draper, Sr., and sharing this remembrance with his community:

A Life Well Led

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, Charles David Draper Senior, husband of his one and only woman Glee for 74 years, father of three, Granddaddy of 12, Great Granddaddy of nine, and Great Great granddaddy of one, passed away quietly with his wife by his side and daughter Marlee holding his hand.

He was 96 years old.

Charles, born August 6, 1925 in Seattle, was the only child of Frank Hugh and Marian Gertrude Sprengle Draper. He grew up on Ida Street and roamed the forest of West Seattle and Lincoln Park in the 1930s. Charles excelled at any physical activity and hiked the mountains and streams for his love of fishing. As a young boy, Charlie worked at Draper Engine Works for his dad and grandfather, Charles David Draper I. He graduated from West Seattle High School and continued to work at “the shop” (eventually named Draper Machine Works), where he designed and created many innovations for the boating, fishing, and lumber industry as well as fixing problems of building mechanics, such as the Space Needle. He joined the Navy during World War II, where he used his talents as a machinist at Guadalcanal. He was in charge of the boat motor pool, keeping them running and piloting small craft and landing craft and Captain’s gig. Upon his return to the states, he began his University of Washington studies in mechanical engineering. His tenor voice blossomed from his early years in the church choir to sing professionally from the 1940s until 2002, when a stroke affected his vocal cords. As an exceptional artist, as well as a perfectionist, Chuck would explain anything with a pencil in hand. Whether it be a machine design, or a how-to in the machine shop, sports, music, building or designing anything… there was always a napkin nearby to explain for an understanding.

His golf career began in 1954 and ended with a total of 35 hole-in-one’s. He excelled in rating golf courses of western states down the coast through California. He had the vision to bring public and private courses together organizing tournaments. A highlight of his career was the Junior Golf Association for youth, emphasizing etiquette and sportsmanship in golf.

He is remembered by all as multi-talented with exceptional ability for retaining information. His research and knowledge of the Lake Washington Federal Ship Canal, as well as golf-course details, reflected his constant search for truth.

Chuck had a special love for the church and serving the Lord with his talents. He attended youth groups and led many sing-alongs with a dramatic flair. At one youth function, his eyes were drawn to a quiet beauty, Glee Patten, who he soon married. They raised their little family: Kristine Glee, Charles David III, and Marlyne Annette, one block from his childhood home, on Holden Street and still attended his church, where he continued with choir, quartets, artistic endeavors like Christmas murals, and became a leader and a mentor. Here, he brought young men a chance to learn and flourish through Boy Scouts. His Bible, full of sticky notes, is a visual reminder of his determination to seek God’s purpose and fulfill God’s plan.

He has left his autograph on each of our lives.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

4 Replies to "Remembering Charles David Draper, Sr., 1925-2021"

  • Lisab November 5, 2021 (6:26 pm)

    Sounds like a wonderful man who had a great life!

    • OneTimeCharley November 5, 2021 (7:45 pm)

      He sure did live a full one, huh LisaB? Sooooo many younger generations! Sorry I never had a chance to have him explain something by drawing a sketch. I have many engineer relatives and they are truly something to behold. 

  • Suzanne November 6, 2021 (8:30 am)

    He sounds like he was truly loved. Thank you for sharing a little bit of his life with me. God Bless.

  • PAFuller November 10, 2021 (11:09 pm)

      Thank you for sharing such a well-written summary of this remarkable man–Charles David Draper, Sr.  I am very sorry for your loss, but he obviously enriched the lives of all the persons who were lucky enough to have Charlie in their lives.  My Dad was an engineer also, so I do know how they like to explain everything with a drawing and math calculations.  This obituary has touched and inspired me–thank you!

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