Cover photo for Charles Doty's Obituary
Charles Doty Profile Photo
1930 Charles 2020

Charles Doty

January 4, 1930 — October 10, 2020

Charles Eugene Doty, born to Floyd & Veda (Simmons) Doty, in Lewiston Idaho on January 4, 1930, his brother Richard (Dick) Ira Doty was born in 1937 while living in Cottonwood Idaho. Charles attended Elementary school at the Cottonwood School and the Cramer School, located on Doty Ridge. He graduated from Kamiah High School in 1947. He then enrolled in the Perry Institute Trade School for aircraft mechanics, in Yakima Washington. From 1952-1954 he served in the Army, stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict. In 1956 Charles took up flying, finding it to be too expensive of a hobby for him. In 1950 Charles married Violet Leach and divorced in 1954. In 1956 Married Jaqueline (Jackie) Zehner, who died in 1995. Charles and Jackie had 4 daughters, Karen (David) Egersdorf born in 1957, Terri (Dan) Musgrave born in 1958, Shannon (Bob) Neely born in 1959, and Darcy (Larry) Kennedy born in 1965. Charles married Linda Petrick in 1997 and divorced in 1998. He married Ellen (Weaver) Kiele in 2000. Charles' girls gave him 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. Ellens' 3 Boys added 9 more grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. In 1949 to 1959 he worked at Twin Feathers Mill in Kamiah, which was most recently known as Blue North Mill. In 1959 after leaving Twin Feathers Mill, he worked at Clearwater Mills, owned by Troy Lumber Company. Charles set the first planer and helped build the original mill. Troy Lumber Company later sold out to Kamiah Mills in 1965. The mill burned in 1987. Charles helped to design and rebuild the mill as it is today, retiring as maintenance supervisor in 1995. Charles was Past President of the Jaycee's, PTA, and Past Noble Grand of the Odd Fellow Lodge, charter member of the Kamiah Community Credit Union, Kamiah Chamber of Commerce, Past Commander and Past District Commander of the American Legion. Charles was District 2 Representative for 2 terms and spent 5 years (longer than anyone in the history of Idaho) as President of the Idaho State Fire School. In 1955 there was a meeting in George Mills barber shop to discuss having TV in the Valley. Those in attendance were Charles, Bill Diggs, Gene Kirsh, Evertt Brugs, Cliff Emmert, Don Schoening and Harrold Harwash. George was cutting Harold's hair at the time. Harold dug in his pocket and gave them $20 to get it started. Donations were solicited from everyone in town and the TV translation station was built. During his years as Jaycee president, the cyclone fence around the school yard was installed, more funds were solicited and the Kamiah Medical Clinic was built. Dr. Cruz was hired to be Kamiah's doctor, later the building was sold to him. Charles helped with the new football field. Phil Young using his truck and Charles using a truck from Kamiah Mills hauled all of the grass sod from Lapwai. The current football field was built. Don George & Charles were both working for Potlatch Forest Industries. They tried to join the credit union, owned by the Potlatch Company, but were denied because it was Company owned. So Charles and Don instigated to start a new credit union and went to work for Kamiah Mills. When the Kamiah Community Credit Union was formed, Charles was on the first credit committee. There was $50 to loan and they thought that was GREAT, look at it now! Between Christmas and New Years of 1958 the old Sport Shop (now the Hub) burned. That was the start of Charles's firefighting career. He joined the Department in March of 1959, at that time the department had a 1956 Dodge fire truck, no turnout or SCBA's, 10 white helmets with a lightning bolt on the front that had been donated from Washington Water Power Company. Charles took over as Chief in 1972, from Marion Smith who went to work for Idaho Department of Lands. In 1974 he helped organize the Kamiah Fire Protection District. An old 1940 Chevy flat bed with a round tank and portable pump was all the Fire District had to use. The city and rural departments were consolidated as one department during his years as chief. The District bought a used pumper truck from the Boise area and a small quick response truck was built in the shop at Kamiah Mills. During this time an ambulance was acquired from the Civil Defense in Boise. The only supplies in it were a GI blanket and a hand stretcher. An old Pontiac Hearse was purchased, rebuilt, and repainted. Kamiah had the first EMT class in the northern part of the state. Don Fortney, Gordon Hawkins, Duane Clopton and Charles were in the first class. In the next few years the department went from one little spot in the city building to taking the entire building for fire and ambulance. In the next few years, the City and Rural Departments bought the old Odd Fellows building next door. Both buildings, fire and Odd Fellow, were torn down and the building of the present EMS Building began. Charles retired from the Fire Department in 2008 after serving 50 years. During the early 70's Charles operated the roller skating rink at the Legion Hall every Saturday evening and then after a few years added a section on Saturday afternoons. Many kids and adults learned to skate during those years. It was enjoyed by many. Charles and his family did a lot of hunting and fishing. In the Fall of 1946 while hunting on Fog Mountain in the Selway, they were snowed in for 10 days. Many hunting and fishing trips on the Salmon River and Spencer's Ranch on the Snake River. Starting out with tent camping, pull trailers and finally moved up to a motorhome, which the last one he custom designed on the inside to fit their needs. In 1995 after retiring and needing something to fill his time, Charles ran for Lewis County Commissioner. He was one of the original members for Idaho State IAC Capital Crime Board, Chairman of Clearwater Management Council, President of Rural Conservation and Development and a member of the Mental Health Board for District 2. While on a trip, with tents and 4-wheelers, to McGruder's Crossing on the upper Selway, a thunderstorm washed out the road in the wilderness, Charles and 5 others couldn't return home the way that they had come. They had to ride their 4-wheelers out to Darby Montana then on to Hamilton. Spent the night at Lolo Hot Springs and continued down Lolo Pass to Kamiah, 443 miles in total on 4-wheelers. After getting to Kamiah they had to turn around and drive to Red River to retrieve Vehicles and trailers, another 100 miles. Charles has traveled a lot including Germany, Canada, Hawaii, Japan and every state, except Maine, in the USA, including Washington D. C. Another hobby was woodworking/carpentry. Several pen and pencils sets were made and given as gifts. As of 2017 Charles loved going to town on his electric bike that he referred to as his "horse". A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:00 am at the Legion Hall in Kamiah. Private inurnment will take place at Kamiah Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Trenary Funeral Home, Kooskia. Family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Kamiah Fire Department in honor Charles.
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