Obituary: Charles W. Hay (1938-2021)

Charles William Hay
April 4, 1938 – Jan. 8, 2021

Charles William Hay, 82, of Clarkston, died Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Spokane, Washington.

He was born April 4, 1938, in Corvallis, Ore., to William C. Hay and Georgia E. Lovell Hay. Charles grew up in Philomath, Ore., and graduated from Philomath High School in 1955. His senior year he was awarded MVP for participating in all sports offered by his high school. He graduated from Oregon Technical Institute with an accounting degree in 1957. He married his high school sweetheart, Lillian May Gassner, July 11, 1959. They later moved to Salem, Ore., Walla Walla, Lewiston and eventually settled down in Clarkston.

Charlie was a well-known businessman who successfully developed a small grocery store and fruit stand into a thriving produce market and planet nursery — better known as Hay’s Produce and Garden Center. He took pride in providing superior quality local fruits and vegetables. Billie and Charlie produced their famous homemade huckleberry jam and pickled asparagus available at the market. In the offseason, he supplied holiday spirit in the form of Christmas trees and seasonal gifts.

Charlie and Billie enjoyed extensive travels around the world. His favorite trip was climbing the Great Wall in China. He was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and a past member of Clarkston Chamber of Commerce and the Lewiston Elks.

Charles is survived by his wife, Lillian May Hay, of Clarkston; sons Craig (Janice) Hay, of Green Valley, Ariz., Steve (Kris) Hay, of Clarkston, and Denny (Jenny) Hay, of Chula Vista, Calif.; daughter Brenda Hay, of Issaquah, Wash.; sisters Mary Ellen Hobin, of Mesa, Ariz., and Margi Wolski, of Salem, Ore.; and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, William C. Hay, and his mother, Georgia E. Hay.