Charles Ray Sailor
June 13, 1934 – June 10, 2021
Charles Ray Sailor passed away at 86 on June 10, 2021 in Fresno, California. He was the husband of Shirley Ann (Cowen) Sailor for nearly 61 years. The two were married June 12, 1960 in Wichita, Kansas.
Born on June 13, 1934 in Wichita, Kansas, he was the son of Earl and Alice Sailor. He graduated from Wichita East High School and attended Wichita State University. After two years serving in the 2nd Missile Battalion 82nd Artillery of the United States Army stationed in Germany, he returned to the United States and began working for International Harvester Corporation in 1955. Working for IH for three decades took Charlie and Shirley from Wichita to Salina, Kansas to Tekamah, Nebraska, Dallas, Texas and eventually Fresno, California. He weathered the bankruptcy of IH and transitioned to working for Case IH until retiring from that position in 1989. At that time he took on a position managing Firebaugh Equipment Company in Firebaugh, California. He truly loved his time in Firebaugh and the people who he had a chance to work with there. After suffering a mild stroke in 1998 he retired a second time, this time to focus his full attention on his children, grandchildren and their various activities.
He was a Mason, a Shriner, as well as a member of the Service Corps of Retired Executives Association. He also was a member of New Covenant Community Church in Fresno and took an active role helping in various ways such as building sets, remodeling the original Adventureland, serving on the bagel team, etc. If there was a building project to be done it was common to call on Charlie. His pastimes always involved family and often included traveling or some form of remodeling project. After his retirement, he was the favorite choice of the grandchildren to shuttle them to dentist and doctor appointments, school pick up, etc. because it was certain to include visiting a Starbucks or McDonald’s Playland, typically resulting in more school being missed then might have been absolutely necessary.
People knew that if they ever needed help with a project they could call on Charlie. Describing your vision for the final product typically resulted in many sleepless nights for him as he drew up plans, developed supply lists, etc. Sometimes it seemed that he took more interest in your project than you might have originally. He was always available to help and looked forward to it.
He is also survived by his daughter Sally Gallagher and her husband John and their children Marshall (wife Courtney), Andrew (wife MacKenzie), and Natalie Parker (husband Randy); his son Scott and Scott’s wife Stacey and their daughters Jessica, Madison Pletz (husband Caleb), and Olivia. His grandchildren blessed him with eight great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Dorothy Morse but was preceded in death by his father Earl Sailor, his mother Alice Sailor and his brother Kenneth Sailor, all from Wichita, Kansas.
A Memorial Service for Charles will be held Friday, July 9, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. at New Covenant Church, 1744 East Nees Avenue, Fresno, CA 93720.
Serving as Honorary Pallbearers are Marshall Gallagher, Andrew Gallagher, Natalie Parker, Jessica Sailor , Madison Pletz and Olivia Sailor.
In Lieu of Flowers, contributions in Charles' memory may be made to American Heart Association Donation Processing Center In Memory of Charles Sailor in the Central Valley, PO Box 742030, Los Angeles, California 90074-2030.
- Shirley Sailor, Wife
- Sally Gallagher (John), Daughter
- Scott Sailor (Stacey), Son
- Marshall Gallagher (Courtney), Grandson
- Andrew Gallagher (Mackenzie), Grandson
- Natalie Parker (Randy), Granddaughter
- Jessica Sailor, Granddaughter
- Madison Pletz (Caleb), Granddaughter
- Olivia Sailor, Granddaughter
- Dorothy Morse, Sister
- Charles also leaves behind 8 great-grandchildren to cherish his memory.
- Marshall Gallagher
- Andrew Gallagher
- Natalie Parker
- Jessica Sailor
- Madison Pletz
- Olivia Sailor
American Heart Association Donation Processing Center In Memory of Charles Sailor in the Central Valley
PO Box 742030, Los Angeles, California 90074-2030
Friday, July 9, 2021
Charles Ray Sailor
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July 10, 2021
I always told Marshall that one of the best things that came with marrying him was two wonderful grandparents. Grandpa (Charlie), was more of a grandpa to me than my own. He was always there for me, treated me like his own, always cheered me on, encouraging me to reach for my goals and just made me feel so special when we were together. One of my favorite memories was a Tahoe trip we took before Marshall and I were married. I was up studying for a final while everyone was sleeping and Grandpa walked out into the kitchen of the cabin we were all staying in. He couldn’t sleep so he joined me and asked me to fill him in on what accounting topic I was studying. He ended up falling asleep on me but he would always bring up that night and how he knew I could do anything because of how devoted I was to my studies. Grandpa was an amazing man who encouraged everyone he knew. He would give the shirt off his back to a complete stranger and loved to help with any project he could. He displayed true love as he loved Grandma more than anything. He also had the strongest love for his great grandchildren making all visits so memorable and fun. Every time we made it back to California he would take the boys to John’s Incredible Pizza for unlimited games, pizza and ice cream. Austin looks forward to the outing every visit and randomly brings up how much fun he has there and can’t wait to go with his great grandparents again. I will miss Grandpa so much! I am so thankful for the time we had and all the wonderful memories we cherish. I just hope I can live by his example. Such an amazing man!
July 1, 2021
Charlie & Shirley have been my wonderful neighbors for 27 years. He will be missed greatly. I could always count on Charlie in the early years to help me build my kids Grand Prix cars for Awana. I would be in his garage and he always had a vision of the end product. He had the tools and new how to use them. I will miss the waves as he drives by and the chats in the neighborhood. The kids when they were younger…and my granddaughter now enjoyed seeing him on Halloween because he gave out the BIG candy bars and always loved to stop and talk with them about the costumes. Always humble, always kind, always giving, always loving. I loved when we all went out to light the luminaries each year on Christmas Eve. Charlie will be missed so much. I am grateful he knew the Lord and I am grateful to have been so blessed to have known him.
July 1, 2021
Charlie was another Dad to Jeff and I. When Jeff met Jesus, Charlie’s hug was such a memorable one. He truly loved and cared for everybody. Being truthful, I’m guessing Charlie is drawing up plans, making lists and having a discussion with Jesus on how the future homes should be built! My prayers for Shirley, Sally, John, Scott, Stacy and all the grandkids are the wonderful memories, many of them, will give so much comfort to each and every one of them. I love this Sailor family. 💕💕💕💕💕
July 1, 2021
The Sailors home was a second home for me. Charlie was a mentor, friend and project manager. Whether it was creating sets, children’s rooms at Newcov, fixing our Mustangs in the garage or helping with projects at our home. Always ready to share wisdom and stories. So many memories. One nugget stands out. I asked Charlie what advise would you give me in regards to a young dad. He said when go on vacation and the kids want the 5 dollar ice cream, buy it. Because when they get older it’s more difficult to get em all together. Enjoy every minute even if it costs a little more. I am blessed to have known Charlie!!