Charles Edward "Chuck" Corrigan died peacefully at home Thursday, October 10, 2019, of metastatic brain cancer. In 2017 he was diagnosed with throat cancer caused by HPV. After successful treatment and remission, in early 2019 he learned the cancer had metastasized to his brain.
Chuck was born in Bakersfield, California. His family moved from Alhambra, California, to Portland in 1958 when his father was transferred by Southern Pacific Railroad to a position as District Claims Agent.
As a new student at Robert Gray Elementary, Chuck fell in with sidekicks George Young and Joe Morris, who became lifelong friends. Chuck played sports year-round and was on teams sponsored by Grandma's Cookies, Alpenrose Dairy and Reed Electric. He lettered in baseball and football at Wilson High. His first paying job was taking inventory at the Hillsdale Piggly Wiggly.
He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania on an NROTC scholarship, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Upon graduation, he was appointed an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the USS Reeves (DLG-24). As a line officer, he made a Western Pacific Tour to Vietnam and upon return applied for and was granted an honorable discharge as a Conscientious Objector. He was discharged in 1971 as a Lieutenant (junior grade). He became a VISTA volunteer serving as a paralegal at Multnomah County Legal Aid, working with some of the best lawyers in Portland.
Chuck graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1976 and served as Directing Attorney of the Evergreen Legal Services offices in Walla Walla and Vancouver. From 1981 to 1984, he worked at the Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland. He was then Chief of Staff to Multnomah County Commissioner Caroline Miller, a mentor and lifelong close friend. In 1985 he began an over 20-year stint at O'Donnell Ramis Elliot & Crew and successor partnerships where he served as Chair of the Litigation Department, specializing in commercial litigation. In 2006, he started his own firm, Corrigan ADR, focusing on mediation and arbitration. He was approved as a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Pro Tem by the Oregon Supreme Court and continued working until shortly before his death. He volunteered as pro bono counsel representing victims of domestic abuse, among others, and served as counsel to Transition Projects, Inc., a non-profit that helps Portland's homeless secure housing.
His fantasy baseball team, the Chuckers, was perennially in the basement of the Frank Peters Memorial League, comprised of owners who graduated from Robert Gray and Capitol Hill grade schools. He took great encouragement from the Capitol Hill owners in their struggle to overcome the stigma of having been identified as remedial learners.
He enjoyed a whiskey and beer at the end of the day and ended many days at Cassidy's Restaurant and Bar making favorite memories and best friends.
Chuck was married for 33 never-dull years to the feisty and redoubtable Robin Davis Corrigan, who, after caring for her mother for seven years, selflessly assumed the role of Chuck's caregiver throughout his illness.
He was fiercely proud of his daughters and didn't miss an opportunity to brag about them, sometimes awkwardly, as in writing his obituary. Larkin, 27, graduated from Pomona College. Before returning to Portland to take care of Chuck in his final months, she was press secretary at Restore Public Trust, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit that works to hold the administration accountable. Lanie, 24, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College and is a first-year student at Stanford Law. Before law school, Lanie worked on the communications team at American Oversight, a nonpartisan government ethics watchdog in Washington, D.C. Over the years, Chuck enjoyed editing unnecessary words out of Larkin's and Lanie's school papers.
He lived with his family in historic Ladd's Addition, where he routinely got lost even years after moving there. Chuck was lucky to live on the North Garden in Ladd's, a great neighborhood with great neighbors. A special thanks to Ladd's Addition legend Billy Ryan for an always stimulating three-decade front-porch friendship, livened by conversations about neighborhood gossip, politics and point-spread predictions.
Chuck was predeceased by the world's best-ever parents, mother, Harriet Larkin Barnard Porter Corrigan and father, Phillip Henry Corrigan; stepmother, Elva Love Corrigan; sister, Joanna Mary Corrigan; brother-in-law, Hall Evans; and mother-in-law, Mara Davis. In addition to his wife and daughters, he is survived by brothers, George Corrigan (Jeanne), John Corrigan (Janice Finckbone); nephew, Russ Corrigan; great-nephew, Grayson Corrigan; beloved in-laws, David R. Davis M.D., David Huw Davis (Maryellen Johnson), Alexa Davis; niece, Evelyn Davis; nephew, Peter Davis (Go Islanders!); and feline best friend Jojo White Corrigan.
Chuck and his family wanted to extend heartfelt thanks to the consummate and compassionate professionals on his exceptional Providence Cancer Care team, Providence Palliative Care team and finally, Providence Hospice team. In addition, the family's gratitude goes to the committed and professional staff of CNAs, CMAs, nurses, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists at Laurelhurst Village Skilled Nursing Facility.
A private memorial will be held. Remembrances may be made to Transition Projects, Inc. or the Campaign for Equal Justice, which funds Oregon's legal aid programs.
For more information on identifying and treating throat cancers caused by HPV, see: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/hpv_oropharyngeal.htm. Chuck strongly encouraged all parents to get the HPV vaccine for their children.
To send flowers to Charles' family, please visit our floral section.