Memorial gathering Saturday for Charles Van Valkenburg, 1930-2022

Family and friends will gather Saturday (September 24) to celebrate the life of Charles Van Valkenburg, and are sharing this remembrance with his community:


Chuck was born in Oneonta, N.Y., to Oscar and Marguerite Van Valkenburg. Chuck spent most of his childhood in an orphanage, yet upon graduating high school in 1948, he spread his wings and joined the Army. His stories of traveling west are those that books are made of, enjoyable and exhilarating. Chuck proudly and honorably served our country until 1952 and fought in the Korean War, receiving many service awards. Chuck then went on to earn his B.S. in aeronautical engineering.

Chuck again went west to Colorado, where he worked for Lockheed/Martin and met his wife, Garnette (Lupien) of Helena, Montana. They married in November 1959 and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where they had 2 of their 4 children. Chuck and Garnette returned to the Pacific Northwest, where he worked loyally for Boeing for the next 27 years in the commercial and wind-tunnel divisions. They settled in West Seattle, had 2 more children, and lived in the same house for 56 years.

Chuck had an amazing life full of laughter, love, and family. He had a brilliant mind and was always thirsty for knowledge and spent many, many hours at the local library, reading and researching. Chuck also enjoyed bike riding and tinkering around in the garage and taking on any intellectual challenge. Traveling was also a passion for Chuck. He would use planes, trains, and automobiles to visit odd and exciting destinations. Chuck’s main happiness came from his children, which he filled with so many great times and memories and the importance of compassion, benevolence, and gratitude.

Chuck is reunited with his loving wife Garnette (2019) of 59 years and leaves behind 4 children: Diane (Allan), Chuck, Debbie (Mike), and Donna; 6 grandchildren; Christopher, Michael (Gina), Patrick (Amanda), Courtney (Riley), Braydon, and Ashlin; and 2 great-grandchildren: Atticus, Grant, and a baby girl due in October. Chuck’s 92 years of life had meaning, purpose, and value, and we know that future generations will be better because of his time on this earth.

We will all miss him dearly. Rest in Peace and Run Dad Run!!

In lieu of flowers, please smile every day and pay it forward to someone less fortunate, something Chuck mastered throughout his generous life.

His memorial is at the West Seattle Library at 2306 42nd Ave. SW on Saturday, September 24th, from 1 pm to 3 pm.

(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 "Memorial gathering Saturday for Charles Van Valkenburg, 1930-2022"

  • Nwe September 22, 2022 (8:15 pm)

    What a lovely tribute- condolences to the family. 

  • Tricia September 22, 2022 (10:14 pm)

    The Library is the PERFECT place for your Dad. He sure liked knowing things. He liked sharing that knowledge.  I however, will always remember him at a random Community Center WAY out of West Seattle and thinking ” How the hell did he get here?”. Well bus, of course. In his later non driving years nothing stopped him. He may have been up there in physical years, but he was a rebellious 17 yr old at heart. The girls at Burien Safeway are sure gonna miss him. Chuck, Jess, Diane, Al, Donna and Debbie  you have to be so proud and thankful for being part of such a vibrant life and the lessons he taught along the way.  I am smiling writing this because he was a hoot and I am so glad to have known him. Even before I connected him with all of you.

  • Neighbor to Chuck September 23, 2022 (11:09 am)

    As a nearby neighbor to Chuck for the last 15 years I was sorry to hear of his passing. He was one of the wise elders in our neighborhood who lived (or continue to live) in their own house for more than 50 years. The numbers of these great Seattle lights in our pocket neighborhood are dwindling, but somehow we had about a dozen. Even after they are gone, Chuck and others will long be remembered.  Sympathies to the whole family.

  • Infantry72 September 23, 2022 (5:29 pm)

    Beautiful obituary, thank you for sharing. 

Sorry, comment time is over.