Charlie passed away peacefully at home on November 4, 2020 after a 4-year battle with lung cancer. Born on July 22, 1947 to Thomas “Les” and Patty Van Zandt, he was proud of his claim as a Seattle native.
A 1965 graduate of Evergreen High School, Charlie went on to have a 34-year career in the telecommunication business, starting out with Pacific Northwest Bell and retiring from AirTouch. He worked on both the Wired and the Wireless sides of the industry.
Playing the violin in his youth, he loved getting together in his mid-life with his quartet buddies for the camaraderie as much as for the music. Throughout his life Charlie loved adventure evidenced by his scuba diving, sailing, piloting small airplanes, riding motorcycles and snowboarding. He loved the “thrill” of things.
In 1992, Charlie married Doris “Kiko” Kimura and they had almost 29 years of amazing love and life together. Charlie was the love of her life and he said that she was his also. They met in the “wall” lane at the GLAD Masters Swim Team practice in the fall of 1990. He was her biggest supporter of her nursing and coaching careers.
During his adult life, Charlie became an accomplished endurance athlete. In 1991 he completed the Paris-Brest-Paris cycling event in 78 hours. He was a 5-time Canadian Ironman Triathlon finisher, qualifying for the World Championships in 1992. In 2005, Charlie swam the 7.8-mile Skaha Lake Ultra Swim in Penticton, BC, Canada. Later that year, he swam the Strait of Gibraltar, becoming at that time, the oldest man without a wetsuit to complete that swim. Charlie was the Xterra Triathlon Regional Champion in 2007 qualifying for and completing the Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii that year.
But the thing that Charlie loved to do most, was cycling. He was a member of the Slug City Cycling Road Racing team and the Double Check Cycling Cyclocross/Mountain Bike team. He completed RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day) for several years. He tremendously enjoyed annual cycling trips to France, Arizona, and California with various cycling friends. A huge thanks to all of you who travelled many miles with him on the bike and kept him safe!
Charlie turned Kiko into a “glamper” and they loved camping/glamping in their fiberglass trailer throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their annual anniversary glamping trip in January to Ocean Shores was the highlight of their camping calendar. He also turned her into a quasi-cyclist (on the back of a tandem) and a Formula 1 fan, spending race weekends watching the Grands Prix, explaining strategy. An avid reader Charlie ALWAYS had a book/e-reader in his hand wherever he went.
A highlight vacation was a 2010 trip to Israel where he and Kiko walked where Jesus walked. Charlie wanted everyone to know that after 29 years of searching, he found Jesus and “relaxed” in Him. Thank you to all who touched Charlie through the years with your consistent witness for Jesus, especially Mickey, Juan Carlos and Sharon who shepherded him as he learned to love Jesus.
Charlie will be remembered as a kind, soft spoken, compassionate man who always saw the good in people. He didn’t like crowds but preferred to spend quality time with those he cared for. He lived out his passions to the fullest, never looking back at “what ifs?”. He loved like there was no tomorrow. He is missed very much, every single day.
A huge thank you to Renato Martins, MD, Jennifer Jacky, ARNP, and their team at the SCCA for giving us almost 2 extra years together. Thank you also to EvergreenHealth Hospice, especially Julie and Michael, for the amazing care we received in the last few months.
Charlie is survived by his wife, Kiko; son, Sean; daughter Jeanene; grandson, Zachary; great granddaughter, Giovanna; sister, Alice Abolins (Karlis); brother David (Margaret Moynan); nephews Brendan Abolins (Allison Pymer) and Devin Abolins. He also loved his nephews by marriage, Chad Price and Paul Price.
A party to celebrate Charlie’s life will be held when we can all gather together safely. If you wish to make a remembrance in Charlie’s honor, please consider donating to:
Vision House- Shoreline, a Christian based transitional housing facility where Charlie volunteered and spent many happy hours fixing and tuning up the resident children’s bicycles. He became known as the “Bike Guy”.
19610 20th Ave NE
Shoreline, WA 98155
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
P.O. Box 24385
Seattle, WA 98124-0385
12040 NE 128th Street Mail Stop #5
Kirkland, WA 98034-3098
Your favorite charity.
To share your condolences and your fond memories of Charlie with his Family, please visit his Tribute wall, located above.
- Care & Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Services -
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles Winne Van Zandt, please visit our floral store.
Vision House - Shoreline
19610 20th Ave NE, Shoreline WA 98155
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
P.O. Box 24385, Seattle WA 98124-0385
12040 NE 128th St. , MS 5, Kirkland WA 98034-3098