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Charley O. Estes

December 12, 1947 May 25, 2019
Charley O. Estes
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Obituary for Charley O. Estes

A remarkable man has come to the end of his life’s journey. Charley Estes of Dalton Gardens, Idaho passed away on May 25, 2019 at Schneidmiller Hospice House in Coeur d’Alene.

Charley was born on December 12, 1947 in Jumbo, Arkansas to Floy and Hattie Estes. His strong work ethic began as a young boy picking cotton alongside his family. As a teenager, he went with his brother and sister-in-law to work in the orchards near Wenatchee, WA. Charley served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1970 in Ft. Riley, Kansas where he made life-long friends. He received an AA Degree in Forestry from Wenatchee Valley College in 1972 and immediately went to work for the U.S. Forest Service at Entiat Ranger District.

Charley met Karen Somerville in 1973 and they were married in 1974. It was the same year he also started his own forestry services company, Phoenix Reforestation. The name was later changed to Horizons Unlimited and finally Quality Forests. Across nine states, his crews have planted approximately 35 million trees, thinned thousands of acres, collected bushels of cones, and assisted in the growing and harvesting of even more millions of tree seedlings in forest nurseries. He expected and appreciated an honest day’s work from all of his many employees over the years.

Nothing was more important to Charley than his family. He unconditionally loved and supported them in every way he knew how. Charley was the original “dog whisperer” and his many dogs were also treated like family. Charley loved growing vegetables, fruit, flowers, and of course, trees. He was proud to be a Shriner and worked many hours in events to help raise money for those in need of the Shriners Hospitals for Children. He never forgot his humble beginnings in Arkansas and was quick to give his time and financial support to people who could use a hand. His frank way of speaking always let others know exactly what he was thinking, and his sense of humor and country wit kept everyone around him laughing. He was an excellent cook and loved good books and movies. Charley and Karen were able to travel to many interesting places around the world in recent years.

In 2017, Charley miraculously survived two strokes and a traumatic brain injury all in a period of one week. However, it was lung cancer that eventually got the best of him. The family would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, EMTs, and medical staff of all aspects of Kootenai Health, Family Medicine Residency, Advanced Health Care, Beacon Cancer Care, Hospice of North Idaho, and the Schneidmiller Hospice House for the exceptional treatment and compassionate care given to Charley over the last two years.

Charley was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Jimmy Estes, and niece, Cindy Pitt. He will be forever missed by his loving wife of 45 years, Karen of Dalton Gardens; daughter, Kimberly Shaddox of Tacoma, WA; son, Scott Estes (Sara) of Hayden, ID; granddaughter, Samantha (Ivan) Pilyayev of Coeur d’Alene, ID; grandsons, Benjamin and Elio; sisters, Shirley Ennis of Orondo, WA and Kay Steiner of Locust Grove, AR; sister-in-law, Joan Estes of East Wenatchee, WA; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A celebration of Charley’s amazing life will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Yates Funeral Home – Hayden Chapel, 373 E. Hayden Ave., Hayden, Idaho. Everyone is welcome to stay for a luncheon reception afterwards at the same location. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of North Idaho or American Lung Association.

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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




11:00 AM 6/15/2019 11:00:00 AM
Yates Funeral Homes & Cremation - Hayden Chapel

373 E. Hayden Avenue
Hayden Lake, ID 83835

Everyone is welcome to join the family downstairs following the service for a luncheon.

Yates Funeral Homes & Cremation - Hayden Chapel
373 E. Hayden Avenue Hayden Lake 83835 ID
United States

Memorial Contribution

Hospice of North Idaho

2290 W. Prairie Ave.
Coeur d' Alene, ID 83815

American Lung Association

55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150
Chicago, IL 60601

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