Francis “Frenchy” Charette


In loving memory:      

Francis “Frenchy” Charette passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, Wash., Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. He was born in Inchelium, Wash. May 3, 1930 to Charles Charette and Cecelia (Carson) Charette. When he was old enough to go to school, he attended Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Ore. until the eighth grade. At that point he returned to Inchelium and worked as a fire lookout for the Colville Tribe. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for three years. While serving there he enjoyed recreational swimming and diving. He loved to show off on the high dive, performing tricks, twists and turns whenever he got the chance.

            After being honorably discharged in 1950 he worked for the Lincoln Lumber Company in Inchelium. He married Barbara Laramie Dec. 20, 1954 and they began a family. Around that same time, they moved to Omak, Wash. where Francis worked at Biles-Coleman Lumber Company and Cates & Erb Lumber Company. In 1995 he retired from the timber industry and moved to Inchelium where he remained for the last 24 years.

            Francis was involved in rodeo as a PRCA bull rider for much of his life. His bull riding activities impressively lasted until he was 61 years old. While riding bulls he received the nickname “Two-Jump-Frenchy” because he didn’t stay on the bulls for very long in the arena. He was involved in rodeo outside of the arena as well. He trained the first female rider, Rusty Tawes, for the World-Famous Suicide Race at the Omak Stampede.

            Besides enjoying the events that took place in the arena, Francis was an avid fan of the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks in and out of their seasons. He was dedicated to following them.

            Francis enjoyed many outdoor activities which included cutting firewood, hunting, fishing and huckleberry picking. He spent as much time there as he could.

            His greatest love in life was his grand, great, and great-great-grandchildren. He never missed an opportunity to hold a baby in his arms and get as many pictures as he could with them. He had an amazing memory for their birthdays. He could also remember the ages of all his grand, great, and great-great-grandchildren at any time throughout the year.

            He was preceded in death by two brothers, Tom Charette and Herman Smith.

            Francis is survived by his daughters, Frances D. Charette, Geraldine Charette and Sharon Boyd, all of Inchelium; as well as daughter, Diana Seymour of Electric City, Wash.; brother, Robert Smith of Federal Way, Wash.; numerous nieces and nephews; ten grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

            Graveside services were at 10 am., Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 at Hall Creek Cemetery, Inchelium, WA.

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