American Veteran 01

Charles M. Chinn

March 4, 1927 ~ April 26, 2020 (age 93)

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LIVESTREAM:  This graveside service will be live-streamed to Facebook.  To view, the service go to Gray's West & Co. Facebook page by clicking this link, or by searching for Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel on Facebook. 

The service will begin at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

Charles M. Chinn, Jr. passed away April 26, 2020 in Baker City at the age of 93. Interment was held at a private graveside service on May 2, 2020 with Pastor Ian Wolfe officiating.  Honorary Pall bearers were Duane Schaer, Michael Chinn, Rory Noble, Keith Chinn, Craig Chinn, C.J. Chinn and Jacob Chinn. Although quarantine measures limited attendees, friends attended the service remotely from their cars on the adjacent street while accessing the service though video provided by Gray’s West & Company.

Charlie (Chick) Chinn was born in Portland on March 4, 1927.  Son of Charles M. Chinn, Sr and Violet Lucy Roberts Chinn, he grew up in Wingville and graduated from Baker High School in 1945.  After graduation he was drafted into the US Army serving from 1945-47. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Surgical Tech 4 after serving on the USNS hospital ship, the Comfort.  He worked for 36 years as a Farm Services Technician for Farmterials, retiring in 1988.

Charlie loved hunting: from elk on the Minam, to chukars on the Snake River, to pheasants, ducks, geese and grouse in the Baker Valley. His knowledge of animals and the number of years he was able to spend hunting allowed him to harvest 42 elk. The pinnacle of his hunting career was drawing a Big Horn Sheep tag and successfully bringing home a “dandy” from the Jordan Valley--all of this despite the limitation of his vision loss due to macular degeneration.

He loved being out in the mountains: harvesting firewood for winter fuel, exploring old mines, and scouting good fishing spots--his favorite spot was just north of “NoTellum Creek.”

Charlie’s parents established their farm in Wingville in the early 1930’s which was his life-long home except for his 2-year stint in the US Army. In 1954 he married his sweetheart, Judy Fales and built her a home on the farm where they raised their two children, Mike and Sharon.

Charlie enjoyed farming both crops and livestock.  After retirement in 1988, Charlie had more time to devote to his livestock, tending flocks of pigeons, chickens and sheep. Wild birds flocked to the Chinn farm as Charlie fed quail, finches and doves, while he fought off the varmints that plagued his flocks. Each spring, neighbors saw Charlie going to feed his bummer lambs with milk bottles sticking out of all four of his shirt pockets.

He enjoyed gardening, growing vegetables, gladiolas, iris and maintaining a beautiful yard despite his ongoing battle with the gophers.

When he wasn’t working outdoors, he spent many enjoyable hours listening to audio books through the Oregon Talking Books Library.

Charlie conducted his life according to the “code of the west” and raised his family accordingly: A person’s word is their bond, promises are always kept, provide for widows and orphans, eat what you kill, watch where you point your gun, leave the gate as you find it, be a member of the clean plate club and don’t squat on your spurs.

He relished eating lunch every week with the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out) also known as the Gray Beards--swapping stories--eventually entertaining everyone in the whole restaurant as members became more dependent on their hearing aids.

Charlie and Judy enjoyed traveling: touring through all of the states west of the Mississippi River and all Canadian provinces adjoining the U. S., camping inside the Arctic Circle, and attending reunions of the post-World War II crew of the USNS Comfort.

An accredited Master Hunter, Charlie also was proud to have taught Hunter Safety classes to more than 300 kids ushering them into the world of firearm safety and responsible hunting.

At First Lutheran Church Charlie taught Sunday School and participated in the after-school Kid’s Club, often acting in the skits illustrating the lesson of the day. Though no longer able to serve as the church’s egg merchant, he remained a regular attendee at services, sitting in the third pew back on the left-hand side wearing the bright red quilted vest tailored by his wife Judy.

Charlie was a man of Baker Valley. His dedication to community and family was a lifelong constant. He loved Judy, his family, his buddy, Duane and the First Lutheran Church. With his passing we know that he is now looking for new hunting pastures as well as trying to eradicate White Top wherever he might find it growing in heaven.

Hopefully, we can all emulate Charlie’s care for the Baker Valley and all who live here. He will be missed, but as long as we try to “tail up” anyone we see who needs help, we will be acting as he would have done ---just as Charlie’s friends did for him and Judy during the last months of his life. There could be no better tribute to a life well lived.

The family would like to thank Heart ‘N Home Hospice for the love and care they gave Charlie.

He is survived by his wife, Judith Chinn, of Wingville; son Michael Chinn and daughter-in-law Nancy of Boise; daughter Sharon Noble and son-in-law Rory of Baker City; brother-in-law David Fales and wife Patty of Payette; sister-in-law Arcella Hall and husband Ken of Orangevale, CA; grandsons Keith Chinn and wife Ginger of Kaysville, Utah; Craig Chinn and wife Kristy of Irvine, CA, C.J. Chinn and wife Jannie of Huntington Beach, Jacob Chinn and wife Tiffany of Concord, CA; Granddaughter DeeDee Osborn and husband Ryan of Portland and 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters.

Memorial contributions in memory of Charlie can be made to the First Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, Oregon Talking Books and Braille Library, or American Macular Degeneration Foundation through Gray’s West & Co. at 1500 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, OR 97814.

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