Val Charles
1937 – 2022

With family by his side, Val passed away on the morning of October 13, 2022 at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital at the age of 84.

He is survived by his wife, then friend, of 68 years Trudy, son Matt (Mary) Charles, son in law Bruce Lund and daughter in law Shelly Charles.  Grandchildren Dustin and Scott Lund, Aly (Brett) Meyers, Russell (Steph) Charles and his great granddaughters Boe, Ella and Hannah

Val was predeceased by his daughter Valarie, son Brent and granddaughter Angela.

Val was born in Brandon, Manitoba and moved to Kenora when he was 12 years old.  At the age of 14 he found work cutting pulp wood for the paper mill, armed with only a Swede saw and a team of horse he would cut and pile up to 8 cords of wood per day.  He started working as a wiper on steam engines at the CPR shops at the age of 15 and moved over to the paper mill at 19 where he worked as a millwright followed by pipefitter until his retirement in 1995.  Val started as a volunteer firefighter for the Jaffray Melick Fire Department in the 1970’s, alongside his employment at the mill, and quickly rose to become captain – a job he was truly proud of and loved and spoke highly of the men he worked with and the lives they saved for the rest of his time.

Val was a hard worker and was happiest when he was busy building things.  He built their first home on the airport road at the of 19 followed by their retirement home on the Winnipeg River in later years all while helping his son and daughter build their homes at the same time.  He loved working in his garage and amazed us with his talent and ingenuity to design and build many - any - projects. He was the definition of a jack of all trades and was always happy to help anyone who needed a helping hand, the more difficult the project the more interested he was.  He had a special interest in older things and restored a couple antique vehicles, several antique wood stoves, and collected many interesting antiques over the years.  At the age of 72 Val built one more house and created a family property on the Winnipeg River where he was surrounded by all his family for his remaining days.  Even when his health deteriorated over this summer, Val kept working as hard as he could to continue his long time love of working on his land.  Hearing his tractor start up near the end always made the family a little nervous – and intrigued – on what he could possibly be working on now.

If you knew Val, you knew that there was never a dull moment with him around, partially due to his sense of humour and wit.  He always had a quick one-liner for any topic or occasion, such as “He will never forget what’s his name”.  His family and friends always enjoyed gathering to hear his stories and laugh at the adventures and jokes that accompanied all.

Val has been cremated and his wishes were a family and friends gathering in the spring at the property he loved on the Winnipeg River.  In true Val style, his wishes to celebrate his life well lived was to “buy a case of beer, light a bon fire at the beach and have a cold one for me.”

Special thanks to the Doctor and nurses at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital for taking such good care of him, and to Val for always keeping his family close to his heart.

In lieu of flowers, please take the time to have a toast to Val.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Charles family.