Charles “Charlie” Arnold Ledbetter, age 76, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, surrounded by family in Creswell, Oregon.
Charlie’s fight with melanoma began in 2004, with the cancer returning in 2020, which he fought with characteristic bravery, dignity, and stoicism until his battle was lost.
Charlie was born in Stearns, Kentucky, on Jan. 2, 1945, to Arnold and Velva Ledbetter, the fifth of seven children. The family moved to Oregon in 1953, where they settled in the Roseburg area.
Charlie attended Douglas High School, graduating in 1963. While attending Douglas, Charlie met his high school sweetheart, Carol Sanderson, whom he married on Feb. 7, 1966. Charlie and Carol had three daughters, Deanna, Kristi and Kim, whom they raised on a small farm in Rice Creek where they lived for 50 years. They very recently relocated to Creswell, Oregon, to be closer to family.
Charlie began working at Roseburg Forest Products immediately after graduating high school, before he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965, serving for two years as an armor crewman in Augsburg, Germany. Upon his return from overseas, he began his career as a millwright at Roseburg Forest Products until his retirement in 2007. His dedication to providing for his young family was evidenced by his attending night school for a millwright and apprentice program at Umpqua Community College, while working full days at RFP.
Charlie loved his family, and worked tirelessly to create a wonderful home for his family to be raised in. His farm was truly his sanctuary, where he raised cattle and pheasant, became a master gardener, and facilitated countless adventures for his children and grandchildren. From building tree-houses to hiking Mount Thielsen to tractor and three-wheeler rides, Charlie was the force behind an endless number of priceless memories to not only his own children and grandchildren, but to extended family as well. To know Charlie was to love him; his intelligence, whip-smart sense of humor and, most of all, his accepting heart. He will be truly missed.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Roy Ledbetter; sister, Doris Harris; and daughter, Kristina Ledbetter. He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Creswell; daughters, Deanna Havel of Salem, and Kimbra Ledbetter of Creswell; grandchildren, Mallory Allen and her husband, Patrick, and children Liam, Jake and Hayley of Pahiatua, New Zealand; Christian Schweitzer of Creswell; Lexi Havel of Salem; Jackson Havel of Salem; siblings, Coy Ledbetter, Bill Ledbetter, Joyce Moore, and Betty Boyter; and numerous nieces and nephews. Charlie also had many close friends that he considered family.
A celebration of life will be held in May 2022, when family from New Zealand will be here.