Charles Gunnell

Obituary of Charles Gunnell

February 24, 1947 - June 26, 2021

Charles was born to Gloria A. Gunnell (nee Moore) and Joseph C. Gunnell Sr. in
St. Louis, Mo., February 24, 1947. He was immediately nicknamed “Chappie”. He
spent his early years living in St. Louis, Nashville, TN and Mt. Vernon, IL. In 1954
Gloria and Joseph Divorced and Gloria moved Charles and his younger brother
Ronald, to Los Angeles where both finished high school. He joined the US Army
and for some part of that time was a paratrooper, stationed at Ft. Richardson,

Later, he went to Europe and traveled across the continent all the way to India
where he spent some time before he became ill and returned to the US to live in
Portland, OR with his sister. For some time, Charles struggled with addiction and
depression both of which he overcame. He married Linda Singingbird and they
had a son, Lawrence David Gunnell, whom he adored.
Filled with a love for theater, fine arts, poetry and music, Charles received his
B.A. from Portland State University in Theater Arts. Charles was, for a while
known as Kumasi Malonga, a poet who gave many readings in Portland. On
lampposts you would find posters advertising his readings. His memory of
popular songs was encyclopedic and his knowledge of somewhat obscure artists
and songs extensive.

In 1988, Charles met Martha Rex on a city bus. They married in 1992 at a
ceremony held in Mt. Vernon, Ill. They thought of each other as soulmates.
Chappie loved fishing and being outdoors.When he and his wife Martha chose to
live in the Columbia River Gorge it proved to be the perfect place. They lived
there for 31 years.

Charles experienced great joy and peace in seeing the wildlife that frequently
came through his yard, especially the birds and deer. He once nursed a wounded
hawk back to health. He loved dogs and homed quite a few throughout his life.
He liked people and readily engaged in lively conversation. Charles was a kind
and gentle man whom many folks were fond of. He will be much missed and
sweetly and lovingly remembered.

Charles passed away on June 26 at Portland St. Vincent Hospital two weeks
after suffering a stroke at his home. He was 74 years old. His parents, and his
two brothers, Ronald and Joseph Gunnell, preceded him in death. His wife,
Martha Rex-Gunnell; his son, Lawrence Gunnell; his sister Kathleen Gunnell
Saadat, nieces Cheryl Gunnell and Jeniece Nelson and Nephew Franco Gunnell,
Cousins, David, Ann and Mark Williams and Darlene and Damon Bonds of Los
Angeles and a multitude of friends and acquaintances survive him.

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