Saturday, February 20, 2016

R.I.P. Charles Ollivier

A big loss. The Frenchman. Loved life, cooking, fast German cars, his family, and Humboldt Bay, the harbor and the port. So many good stories about life as a longshoreman, and in coming to Humboldt County in general.

Charles Louis Bernard Ollivier August 20, 1936 - February 16, 2016

CHARLES LOUIS BERNARD OLLIVIER August 20, 1936 - February 16, 2016

Charles Ollivier died suddenly at home in McKinleyville with his wife and son at his side.

Born in Agen, France, he was the second of three children to Marie Jean Guibert Ollivier and Eloi Desiree Ollivier. Charles' family moved from France to the U.S.A. in 1951 when he was 14 years of age.

He graduated with a "Certificat d'Etudes Primaires Elementaires' from the Academie de Grenoble, Department Des Hautes-Alpes in 1950, and received a diploma from Arcata High School in 1954. He attended Humboldt State University.

Charles brought his love of everything French with him and was glad to share it with anyone anywhere.

Charles worked in local mills, Humboldt Plywood, Roddiscraft, Weyerhauser, and Simpson Lumber Company before proudly becoming a member of the International Longshoremen & Warehousemans Union Local 14. He worked as a longshoreman for 35 years before retiring in 2002. He spent 16 terms as Union President, and also served many times on the Labor Relations Committee as Chairman, Caucus Convention Delegate and on the California Small Ports Committee. He was proud of being a labor organizer and union supporter. With a love for meeting people and his interest in real estate, he completed and received his Certificate of Completion from Anthony Schools in 1971 and worked in several local offices as a Realtor while working as a longshoreman.

He was an elected 5th District Commissioner for 16 years on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District, serving on numerous committees and with much pride on the Pilotage Committee. He was appointed to the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) Board of Directors. Appointed by Congressman Hamburg, Charles served on President Clinton's Forest Conference in Portland, Oregon on April 17, 1993. Certificate of Special Recognition from the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for five years of outstanding service on the Board of the North Coast Railroad Authority and for 16 years of exceptional public service as the 5th Division Commissioner on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Board was awarded to Charles on August 18, 2009. His service on non-profit boards, Lions Club, and coaching sport teams are too numerous to list.

The enthusiasm and interests in his family and his community were primary in his life. He also thoroughly enjoyed cooking. He collected an impressive Jazz music library, and had an awesome singing voice, often being mistaken as Tony Bennett or another Hollywood celebrity. He enjoyed history, economics, geography and mathematics, and people. He loved dressing well.

He is survived by his partner, wife, and best friend of over 40 years, Carol Ollivier. He is also survived by his beloved sister Helene Black and brother Daniel (Jayne) Ollivier, and his much beloved children: Philip Ollivier (Denise Payne), Jeanine Ollivier Rollins (David), Marc Ollivier (YuShu), Carol's son Sean Sullivan; grandchildren: Jenn Ollivier, Brian Ollivier, Graham Payne, Sean Patrick Sullivan (Janelle Fauquet) and Maxx (Michelle) Sullivan; great grandsons Vincent Ostenberg and Patrick James (PJ) Sullivan; niece and nephew Cathie Hatfield (Matthew Buckley), and Robert Black (Michelle Palermo) and great niece Desiree Hatfield Buckley and Sophie Palermo Black; sister-in-Law Beverly Bennett, and brothers-in-Law Kenneth (Fumiko) Keltner and James Keltner. There are many, many other wonderful nieces and nephews, especially great grand niece Megan Harrison Evenson. Charles was preceded in death by his parents and stepson Patrick Sullivan.

Mass for Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 23rd at St. Bernard's Church, 6th & H Street, Eureka. Family and friends may attend the burial/interment at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Greenwood Cemetery, 1757 J Street, Arcata. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com under obituaries.

Published in Eureka Times-Standard on Feb. 20, 2016

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