Charles (Charlie) Toth finished his work on Earth on Thursday, June 8 after fighting a rare, inoperable brain tumor for more than 14 years.
He was an extraordinary individual, always interested in those he crossed paths with. Charlie was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, neighbor and friend. He never complained about his situation, and graciously accepted and adapted to the many challenges that brain cancer threw at him.
He was very grateful for those who cared for him: his wife Val, daughter Shelby, stepdaughter Veronica, family, friends, and medical team. His optimism consistently amazed his doctors and caregivers.
Charlie was a Northwest native, born in Seattle. He graduated from Coupeville High School on Whidbey Island, and subsequently earned a bachelor’s degree (with honors) in economics from the University of Washington. Charlie initially lived in the south campus dorms, where he met many of his longtime friends and also worked for a time as a resident advisor. He was a lifelong UW Husky fan and Husky football season ticket holder.
Charlie began working at a very young age, washing dishes, cooking, and bucking hay. He wanted to make sure that he never asked anyone for anything that he couldn’t do himself. He insisted on paying his own college tuition and expenses, and at one time worked two full-time jobs (Equifax and Nintendo) in order to save money for a down payment to buy his first home. He worked for and retired from Equifax after 26 years.
Charlie married Valen Monell on a Caribbean cruise in 1999. They made their home in Poulsbo where they raised her daughter, Veronica, then welcomed their daughter Shelby in 2002. He is survived by Val, Veronica, Shelby, his mother Barbara, sisters Patti, Jennifer, Melissa, and Janet, brothers-in-law Vic, Mike, Randy, Bob, Roland, and Terry, sisters-in-law Janelle and Dahlia, and many nephews and nieces. His father Alex and niece Katie predeceased him.
Charlie’s kindness knew no boundaries. Despite his illness, he volunteered at Seattle Children’s Hospital, never letting on about his own health struggles. Charlie spoke at local schools, teaching students about the importance of personal finance and using credit responsibly. Charlie was a Big Brother, mentoring a young man from the age of 8. His Little Brother Jason (now 30) has stayed in touch and let us all know how much his Big Brother meant to him.
Charlie loved to travel with his family and friends, including several cruises and some especially memorable trips to London and Edinburgh. Even in this final year, he had travel plans for this year and next, never letting his brain tumor slow him down or define him. His friends visited the care facility many times over the past months, often bringing Charlie’s favorite foods such as sandwiches from Hitchcock Deli and the Grub Hut, and tacos from El Camion. Most of all they brought laughter and banter, which always made for great visits.
We wish to thank UW Medicine, Duke University, Swedish Cherry Hill, Martha & Mary, CHI Franciscan Hospice House, doctors Toni Roberts and Tara Benkers, and the many other doctors, nurses, physical/occupational/speech therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturist, pastors, chaplains, and volunteers who accompanied Charlie and his family on this journey.
Remembrances may be made to the National Brain Tumor Society. A CaringBridge site has been set up to share memories (site name: charlietoth). We will be posting information on a memorial service as soon as we have selected a date.
Please post any stories, reflections, and photos you may have -- Charlie touched many lives, and now everyone who knew him will have a chance to meet each other through this site. Thanks so much for visiting.