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October 18, 2019

9/18/2019 12:43:00 PM
Charles Robert Hedlund, 1938 - 2019
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Charles Robert Hedlund, 1938 - 2019

Charles Robert Hedlund passed on September 10, 2019 at the age of 81. “Chuck” to his friends, which was just about everyone, was a lifelong Skagit Valley and La Conner resident. Born on June 20, 1938 in Mt. Vernon, WA he attended Lincoln and Roosevelt grade schools until moving to La Conner in third grade. He graduated from La Conner High School in 1956 and married his high school sweetheart Marianne Swanson (La Conner class of 1957) in 1958. Right out of high school, Chuck worked for the Dunlap Towing company driving pilings and towing logs. He would often say it was the best job he ever had. He spent a couple of seasons in Alaska as a tender engineer and attended Edison Technical School in Renton (1961). At Edison he learned the electrical trade while Marianne began her teaching career at Mt. Rainier High School.
Chuck took a job with PAF Boat Builders in Bellingham and Standard Oil in La Conner when they moved back to La Conner in 1962.
Chuck began a long career in the bottling industry in 1963 beginning with Mt. Vernon Coca Cola Bottling Company where he stayed until 1968. Chuck became a product quality and plant engineering specialist for Hunt Foods (Canada Dry) and traveled the western states as a trouble shooter. He took those skills to Pepsi Cola in 1972 and ultimately to Pepsi Cola International in 1979. Moving to Asia for Pepsi, he worked primarily on new bottling facilities in Thailand and China. The plant he built in China for Pepsi was one of the first non-Chinese projects constructed in the country. Chuck and Marianne returned to Washington State in 1983 when he took the job of General Manager of Weinstein Beverage in Wenatchee and then RC Cola in Renton before retiring in 1989.
Chuck was an avid (hack) golfer until his knees prevented it. He was also very involved for a number of years with La Conner Kiwanis Club and Skagit County Fire District 13 as a commissioner. He loved the outdoors and was especially fond of his family’s Methow hunting property at Knowlton’s Knob where he shared many great experiences with his family. Chuck was an all-around good guy and would literally give the shirt off his back to help someone in need.
Chuck was preceded in death by his wife Marianne (1997) and daughter Lori (2011). He is survived by son’s Brian & Lisa (La Conner) and Bruce & Suzanne (Kirkland), and grandchildren Abigail & Olivia (La Conner) and Riley & Madison (Kirkland).
Those wishing to remember Chuck are encouraged to donate to the Chuck Hedlund Community Service Award administered by the Kiwanis Club of La Conner.

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