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Charles (Chuck) Washington *
[1970]

School: Jefferson

Sports Played: Basketball, Baseball

High School Honors: Basketball: 3-year letter winner; 1st Team All-PIL as a Senior; 1st Team All-State Honorable Mention as a Senior; member of the PIL Championship Team as a Senior. Baseball: 3-year letter winner; 2nd Team All-PIL as a Junior; 1st Team All-PIL as a Senior; 2nd Team All-State as a Senior.

Post High School Career: Career Editor/Publisher with The Observer, a Portland newspaper.

Commentary:

In 1995, Charles was named Publisher of the Portland Observer Newspaper, succeeding his mother (the late Joyce Washington) at her retirement from Cory Publications. In his continuing commitment to the community, in 1996 Charles established the Joyce Washington Memorial Scholarship Fund for graduating high school seniors and community college students interested in pursuing careers in journalism and/or community service.

Charles was an organizer and coach for community basketball and baseball programs for 25 years, from Little League to Portland summer college baseball. The father of five, Charles was always a mentor for children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. He coached his children, nieces, and nephews. He and his wife Beth opened up their home to every single one of their children's teammates.

Charles' son Rakeem said “My Dad always took care of his family. It is what made him so loved by the community. It is what made him stand out as a father. It is how his daughters learned to be independent. It is how his sons learned to stand on their own two feet.”

In high school, his son hit a deep fly ball to center field where it was caught on the warning track. He casually jogged to first base as it was caught by the center-fielder at the wall. After the game, Dad asked his son if he knew that scouts had come to see him play that day. “No,” he replied. Dad asked his son what the scouts probably thought about the ball he hit deep to center field. His son brashly replied, “they probably didn't know I had that much pop.” Dad laughed and said, “I think they were here to see how fast you can run...guess they may have been a little disappointed...” It was a simple lesson in giving everything your best effort.

There is a saying that goes “dance like no one is watching.” Dad taught us to “pursue our passions like no one can take their eyes off of you.” (Provided by Charles' son, Rakeem.)

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