Charles Clifford Mahaffey, 92, of Ellensburg, Wash., formerly of Chester, SD, passed away on Dec 2, 2013. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Kahler Funeral Home. A graveside service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Chester. To leave condolences please visit www.kahlerfh.com.
Charles, also known as Charlie or Clifford, was born in Casper Wyo. on April 17th, 1921, to Charles Clifford Mahaffey Sr. and Lillian Savage Mahaffey. He lived in Casper through his early school years, until moving to Marlow, Okla. to attend high school. After graduating from Marlow High School in 1939, he found work in Seattle, Wash. He joined the Merchant Marines and before shipping off to Asia, met his future wife, Doris Anita Peterson (Dorie). After their first date he missed Dorie terribly and kept up the romance with frequent letters. In Charlie’s absence, Dorie moved back to her childhood home in Chester, So. Dak. When Charlie landed in port again, he proposed. They married in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1942. Charlie went back to sea and Dorie moved to Seattle, to be near her mother Ingaborg Peterson and sister Eva Peterson Schmidt. Their first son, Michael C. Mahaffey, was born in 1944 in Kirkland, Wash. Charlie’s daughter, Molly Mahaffey Morrow, was born in 1952.
At the end of World War II, Charlie and Dorie moved to Kirlkland, Wa., with their son Mike. Charlie began his lifelong career at the Boeing Airplane Company in 1946. His first job involved drilling holes to install the top turret of the B17 heavy bomber. Charlie worked at Boeing for 31 years, working on significant airplanes including the B29, B47, B52, Dash 80 (707 prototype), 727 and ending with the 747. He progressed from mechanic to supervisor and finished as an instructor on the 747. In 1953 he received the prestigious Man of the Month Award from the Boeing Aircraft Company.
Outside of work and family, Charlie was an avid hunter and fisherman. Charlie’s passion for the outdoors led him to spend much time in Ellensburg, Wash., and the Kittitas Valley – a very special place for the family.
In 1971, a young boy in the family needed a home and loving family. Robert David Mahaffey came in to their lives and after being his guardians they adopted him. They returned to Chester and raised Robert in the Midwest farming community. Charlie began a farming adventure raising Black Angus cattle and Hampshire pigs at age 62.
After Robert graduated from high school and started out on his own, Charlie and Dorie became snowbirds, wintering in Yuma AZ. Charlie returned to Ellensburg in 2009, to be near his daughter Molly and husband Joe.
Dorie preceded Charlie in death in 2000. He is survived by his three children, Mike, Molly (Joe), and Robert (Julie); eight grandchildren, Sean, Jami, Annie, Molly, Charlie, Abigail, Andrew, Claire Doris; and six great-grandchildren.