Longtime Oak Creek resident Charles Thomas Gregory died July 9, 2006, at his home in Oak Creek. He was 89.
Charles was born Oct. 20, 1916, in Carbondale to Victor and Katie (Rossi) Gregory.
When Charles was young, his family moved to the Oak Creek area, where he was raised and attended school. He graduated from Oak Creek High School in 1935. Charles served in the Army from March 1942 to December 1945.
Charles married Lorraine Chandler on Sept. 26, 1946, in Glenwood Springs. They made Oak Creek their home and became the parents of two children, Thomas Eugene and Charnel.
Charles worked as a rancher, as a coal miner at the Victor American and Keystone mines for 23 years, and as a custodian for the Steamboat Springs School District for 16 years. He served as state water commissioner for 33 years. He also served as the city magistrate for the town of Oak Creek.
Charles enjoyed ranching, being outdoors and going to the Flat Tops. He enjoyed sports, especially basketball and football, and served as a football and basketball referee for more than 40 years. He was named to the Colorado High School Sports Hall of Fame as a referee.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Oak Creek, the United Mine Workers of America and the Colorado High Schools Athletic Association.
Charles is preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Victor; and a great-grandson, Brock Gregory.
He is survived by his wife, Lorraine Gregory of Oak Creek; daughter, Charnel and her husband Pete Wille of Steamboat Springs; son, Thomas Eugene Gregory of Oak Creek; grandchildren, Rod, Jody, Darwin, Julie, Richard and Tonya; and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held July 12, 2006, at Soroco High School, with Richard Lissiaveldt officiating. Special selections were "Peace In The Valley," "I Believe," "In the Garden," and "Daddy's Hands," with Belinda Rossi as the soloist accompanied by Gene Sanders on keyboard. Honorary pallbearers were Rod Wille, Richard Wille, Darwin Wille, Jody Gregory, Robert Lenhardt and Jim Eskridge.