Ocean Beach 05

Charles Anthony Gassman

October 11, 1924 ~ April 22, 2022 (age 97)


Charles Anthony Gassman, was born on October 11, 1924, in Portland and passed away at his home on April 22, 2022 surrounded by his four loving daughters.

Chuck’s parents, his father, a baker and his mother, a gifted seamstress, immigrated from Switzerland in 1920. His parents and two younger sisters settled in Northeast Portland where he attended Madeleine grade school and Benson Polytechnic high school. Numerous photos throughout several decades show the family visiting Mt. Hood and the Oregon coast, which reflected their lifelong love of nature.

After attending Oregon State University, his freshman year, like many men of “The Greatest Generation”, Chuck signed up for ERC-Enlisted Reserve Corps. He was called up and left for training on April 1st 1943 to Fort Lewis. Chuck was part of the 11th armored division and on January 15, 1945 he was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge shot by enemy fire.  He received The Purple Heart for bravery.

After the war ended, Chuck returned to Oregon State University where he was proud to be a member of the FIJI fraternity. His participation in the intermural swim team at OSU was also a badge of honor for him and he spoke of it often in later years.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of his return to OSU was that, while attending mass one Sunday morning, he spied an attractive brunette, Margaret Kern. This was the beginning of a courtship that culminated in a wedding on June 25, 1949.  Partnership, mutual respect and a deep love for each other defined their marriage of almost seventy years together.

Chuck and Margaret lived in Northeast Portland where their daughters were born and raised. As an active participant and volunteer for the Madeleine church and school, Chuck supported and encouraged all of his girls in CYO volleyball, basketball, softball, track and swimming. As the swim coach during the 1960’s at Madeleine, he made a lasting impression on many young swimmers with his patience and guidance.

In 1962, his brother-in-law, Dick Percival introduced him to Knute Kroner, a coworker, who had purchased a lot in the beach town of Manzanita. Inspired, Chuck purchased an ocean view lot next door upon which he designed and built his much beloved family beach “cabin,” where numerous family and friends gathered during the 55 years the “Gassman” family owned it. Manzanita became a lasting connection for many of them.

His Catholic faith was instrumental in forming who he was and helped create the foundation of his life of honesty, frugality and sacrifice that enabled him to provide a wonderful life for his wife and children. 

In 1973 the family moved from the Madeleine neighborhood to St. Thomas More parish where Chuck continued his involvement with the church serving on the financial committee. For the second time in his life, Chuck helped to design and build his house on Lyle Court where he lived for almost 50 years.

Self-reliance was a value Chuck held close to his heart as he instructed his daughters on household repairs, woodworking, and a million other tasks. When his daughters, grandchildren or other close family members had a worry or concern, he often comforted them with the philosophy of “have a little faith, everything will all work out” And it usually did!

He is survived by his sisters Ruth Percival, Nancy Kjemus (Forrest), his daughters Jane Brammer, (Tom), Annie Willeman, (Larry), Margie Sono and Cathy Mulflur, nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren. 


The family would like to thank the hospice workers who provided patience and guidance in caring for Chuck. They would also like a special thanks to Dr. Steve Boyer, a neighbor and respected friend of Chuck’s, who came over daily during the last week of his life and provided steadfast advice and support during Chuck’s last hours.

There will be a Rosary Friday May 20th 4:00 at St. Thomas More and a Funeral Saturday May 21st, 12:00 also at St. Thomas More church, 3525 SW Patton Rd., Portland 97221.

In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to the Blanchet House in Portland Oregon


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Funeral Service
May 21, 2022

12:00 PM
St. Thomas More Church

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