Charles Hamlin Nash
October 8, 1921 – March 17, 2010Charlie Nash died peacefully on March 17th – St. Patrick's Day – at R House Care Home. Charlie lived most of his 88 years right here in Friday Harbor all within the same the block. He was born in a home on the corner of Tucker and Guard Streets, the eldest son of Albert M. Nash Sr. and Margaret McSorley Nash. He was followed by brother Albert Jr., sister Catherine and brother Kenneth.
Charlie's parents ran the FH Drug Store for many years. Charlie attended school in Friday Harbor, graduating in 1939. He attended the University of Washington and joined Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity and graduated with a BA in Geography, a minor in Naval Sciences in 1944, while serving in the NROTC as a Naval Officer from 1943 – 1946.
After Submarine School in Connecticut he was assigned to the USS Finback during WWII. His expertise as an officer was recognizing enemy aircraft. These experiences prepared him for his license as Third Mate of Ocean in 1947.
After service he came home to Friday Harbor, worked as a bookkeeper and mail delivery man to the outer islands. He was a natural boatman and outdoorsman and would make life on the water his second home.
At the age of 24 he ran a fleet of seiner's to Shanghai, China. Charlie started fishing in Bristol Bay in 1961 and continued there until he was in his early 70's. He was an avid commercial fisherman here in Puget Sound and Alaska for over 50 years.
He met his wife Betty Chevalier in Friday Harbor after the war and they were married on June 16, 1948. It was cause for great celebration as these two multi generational island families joined hands. Charlie and Betty were very happily married and together raised four children; Nick, Kelly, Pat and Lisa. With growing family responsibilities Charlie decided it was time to get a regular job.
He became the Postmaster in 1964 and retired in 1983. He took his vacation time and headed to Bristol Bay or out to the Salmon Banks where he really felt at home. He was a leader for the annual Chum Salmon egg plant, Beaverton Valley Creek beginning in 1970.
He is remembered most for his knowledge and surveys of the Bald Eagle, authoring a paper presented at the Bald Eagle Symposium, Seattle Aquarium. He was also invited to and attended the International Birds of Prey Symposium in Israel. For these efforts he was nominated and awarded the Environmental Excellence Award, Individual Category, in 1977, presented by Senator Magnusson.
Charlie served the island community in many ways as chair of the San Juan Island Shoreline Master Plan Committee, board member of the School District, Sailing Club and Power Squadron. He was a Cub Scout leader, past president of the Chamber of Commerce and Historical Societies and Commander of the American Legion Post 163. He was a Charter member of the San Juan Yacht Club and the Lions Club.
Charlie was aware of the changes facing the island and pending condominium development of the town's shoreline and the lack of facilities for the fishing fleet and other boaters. He was instrumental in developing the Port of Friday Harbor, subsequently serving on the Port Commission for 27 years.
Charlie was very active in the St. Francis Catholic Church, ushering for 50 years as well as boating the priests from island to island to say Mass.
In his later years Charlie really enjoyed his growing family. He loved all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren, taking notice of each one and admiring their unique strengths and personalities. Charlie's most rewarding accomplishment was his 61 year marriage to Betty, whom he loved and admired deeply.
He is survived by Betty, his four children/spouses: Nick and Linnae Nash, Kelly Nash, Pat and Becky Nash and Lisa and Jim Lawrence. Grandchildren; Jason, Natalia, Michelle, Kyle, Mara, Troy (he left us too early), Kiersten, Jordan, Charles and Margaret. And eight great grandchildren!
Services for Charlie:
Memorials may be made to the San Juan Historical Museum or St. Francis Catholic Church.
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