Charlie was born in Minot, North Dakota, and passed away at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital on December 26. He was the last sibling of the pioneer Ludtke family that homesteaded in Wells Gray Park in 1923.
Charlie is survived by two daughters, Carol (Kurt) Bentrott of Kamloops, and Hazel (Joe) Wadlegger of Clearwater, and son, Robert of Kamloops, 10 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, son-in-law Jack Dyck, of Snow Lake Manitoba, several nieces and nephews and many good friends in the Clearwater area.
Charlie was predeceased by his parents Gus and Berta Ludtke, sisters Irene, Viola, Hilda and Alice Ray, brothers Sylvester, Fred, Laurence and Robert, his wife Addie in 2004, and daughter Dorothy Dyck in November, 2005.
Charlie married Adelina Nicols and lived at Battle Creek Ranch, the original Ludtke homestead until 1972, when they retired from farming and moved to Clearwater. In 2003 they moved to Evergreen Acres, where Charles lived until he moved to Forest View Place earlier this year.
During his time in the Wells Gray Park, Charlie spent his time farming, trapping and guiding game hunters, mostly from the USA. For many years, he was the mailman, making the trip to Clearwater once a week to deliver mail and groceries to everyone in the Upper Clearwater Valley.
For many years, Charlie also wrote a popular column in the North Thompson Times newspaper called The Way It Was. He was passionate about the history of the park, and he wanted people to hear “his view of the story”. Charlie loved political debates. He helped build the Upper Clearwater Hall, which was built under the CCF (a forerunner of the NDP Party), was a life long member of the NDP, and was given an Honorary Lifetime Membership by the NDP Party several years ago.
Music was a big part of Charlie’s life. He learned to play the violin at an early age, and along with his brothers Fred and Laurence, played for many dances in the Upper Clearwater Hall.
The family thanks the staff at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital and Forest View Place for their compassionate and dedicated care during the past few months.
A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held on January 7, at 1:00 P.M. at the Royal Canadian Legion in Clearwater. A reception will follow the service. At a later date, Charlie’s ashes will be interned both at the Clearwater Cemetery and scattered in the park where he spent most of his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Forest View Place.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the North Thompson Funeral Services in Clearwater.