In Loving Memory of Benjamin K. Charles Sr.: 1938-2021


Benjamin K. Charles Sr. died at the age of 83 years old on Oct. 28, 2021. He was born in Physt, Washington, to Phillip Lane and Rosalie (Thomas) Charles on March 22, 1938.

Benjamin graduated from Chemewa Indian Boarding School in 1956. He completed three years of study at Seattle Bible College. Charles was a member of the Elwha Assembly of God Church and was a long-term affiliate with the American Indian Fellowship. The three brothers Ben, John and Freddy started up the “Charles Brothers Trio.” They played Christian music. Only being in their 20s, many churches began asking them to come and sing for them all across the United States. They put out a record with two songs on it, then another album that had a dozen or so songs on it.

He was a minister for most of his life after he finished his studies at the Seattle Bible College. Throughout his life, he held various positions, but he did work as a social worker in the Indian Child Welfare Program at both the Nisqually Tribe and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. In the later years, he also worked as a facilities maintenance worker for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe before retiring.

Benjamin married Susan Thompson in Prineville, Oregon, in 1963 and they were married over 50 years. They lived and ministered in the following communities: Seattle, Prineville, Port Angeles, Elwha, Yelm/Nisqually, Burns Lake, B.C., and Prince Rupert, B.C.

In addition to his wife, survivors include son Benjamin K Charles Jr.; daughters Stephanie Charles and Margie Sampson; sisters Loretta Charles, Geneva Black and Cynthia Charles; brother Phillip Charles Jr.; and grandchildren Phoenix, Cedar and Hunter Charles.

He was preceded in death by his father Phillip Charles Sr. and mother Rosalie (Thomas) Charles; brothers Floyd Charles, Fred Charles and John Charles; and sisters Linda, Phyllis, Mary, Christine, Rita Charles and Rosie Sampson.

A memorial service will take place at a later date, once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and there will be a private graveside service with Rev. George Kallappa officiating. Drennan-Ford Funeral Home of Port Angeles is in charge of the arrangements.

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A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 12 at The Place Cemetery, Port Angeles, Washington.