Few words are needed when you are watching a car take a sharp turn, overtake another, and barrel ahead towards the checkered flag. A quick inhalation of breath, garbled grunts of encouragement or dismay, and the cacophony of engine purrs would drown out the words anyway. Charles Philip Schoolmaster might have seemed a man of few words but that was only for those who did not know him well. Chuck was a prankster, a constant joker, an intrepid adventurer, and faithful friend. Born on September 12, 1936 in Portland, Oregon to Charles and Ethel Schoolmaster, Chuck was the youngest and most audacious of the family. Growing up he loved the outdoors, participating in outmatched footraces against the family dogs, spending quiet nights camping under a blanket of stars, and jumping on horseback when he felt the urge to try to fly. When he was not with his fuzzy companions, he was racing against storm clouds, doing tricks, and tinkering with his motorbike just like his dad who was a member of the motorcycle brigade. Chuck learned from the best, got his first car at 15 years old, and never looked back. He believed life was about choices not chances. Thankfully, his choices led him to Joy Delores Nelson, to the United States Air Force, and to growing the wonderful family he loved with every fiber of his being. Together he and Joy had three amazing sons, Charles, Timothy, and Andrew. The Air Force saw them all to Japan, where Chuck was completing his tour, and then to Tacoma, Washington where his duty station settled them. They bought a house, and it became the hub, the golden center, for their family. Their home was where many grandchildren, twice as many great grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews found endless love, support, and adventure. He was a lifetime member of the Oddfellows and the Tacoma Trail Cruisers. Bowling, bird watching, and the occasional Hot Rod Magazine were some of his go-to’s. Any excuse to race his 1970 442 Oldsmobile and spend time with his son Andy, and Chuck was right there with bells on. After retirement from the Air Force, Chuck would not sit still. His bones ached with the need to be doing something and he took a position with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department as a jailer. He served his community for 12 years until he eventually hung up his hat. Still, the hat hanging did not slow him down. Instead, he and Joy went on cruises, became snowbirds in Arizona, gassed up their RV and saw the sights. Often, they found themselves at the ocean because this was Joy’s favorite spot. They frequented the Florence, Oregon area—beautiful ocean views for Joy and fantastic sand dunes to ride quads down for Chuck. He loved the sweetness of life, whether it be the thrill of a fast car, the love of his beloved Joy, or the tasty things his sisters Betty and Anne whipped up in the kitchen. Life was something Chuck always had a taste for, no matter what it brought. His energy, enthusiasm, and zest will be missed. On February 5, 2021 Chuck blew passed the white flag on his way to a finish line we cannot see. He races towards Joy, now half a lap ahead of him, their race far from over. Those left to appreciate the sweet things he left behind are his son Andrew (Teisa) Schoolmaster; his beloved grandchildren Kati Morelles, Amanda Van Derveer, Joey Bonham, Joshua Schoolmaster, Jake Hurley, Katrina Hurley, Chad Schoolmaster, Mandrea Schoolmaster, and Kandice Schoolmaster; along with numerous great grandchildren. Chuck will join his wife Joy and son Timothy and be privately interred at Willamette National Cemetery in Happy Valley, Oregon.
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