Charles Edwin "Chuck" Gilkey, BHS 1962
August 4, 1944 — October 16, 2014
Charles Edwin "Chuck" Gilkey was born August 4, 1944, in Oakland, CA, and passed away October 16, 2014, at his home in Bakersfield, CA. A lifelong and sixth-generation Californian, he had a deep love for the state and its beaches, cities, mountains, and lakes. He was a teenage surfer in the 1960s in Southern California, and he delighted throughout his life in 60's surf and car culture. The aroma of a medium-rare steak on an outdoor grill was one of his favorite things.
He developed a deep interest in ancestry and genealogical research in the last years of his life and compiled an extensive archive of research on the line of Gilkeys from which he descended, tracing his family history back through the pioneers of the Monterey Bay area, to Revolutionary -Era soldiers on the East Coast, to Northern Ireland where his ancestors set sail for America, and finally back to Scotland where his family line originated.
When his country needed him, he answered the call, enlisting in the United States Army during the Vietnam war era. He was a paratrooper and Sergeant in the famed 101st Airborne Division, "The Screaming Eagles."
Chuck graduated from Burbank High School in 1962, and from California State University, Sacramento, where he earned his degree in Government. He went on to a career in accounting, finance, and administration across many industries, including Corrections, from which he retired in 2007. In 1981, he fulfilled a childhood dream of opening an ice cream parlor with the establishment of "Krunchfunkels," in Delano, CA.
Chuck loved movies, and even more than movies, Chuck loved music. More than any other music, Chuck loved the music of the 60's and 70's, with the Beach Boys remaining his favorite band from the time he first saw them in concert as a teenager, (they were just starting out; he was in the front row and they kept stepping on his feet), to the last days of his life.
He was preceded in death by his wife Theresa Ann "Terri" Gilkey in 1990; his second wife Judith Ann "Judy" Gilkey in August of 2014; his father Carroll Verne Gilkey; and his mother Thelma Mae Gilkey. He was devoted to each of his wives and loved and cared for each of them through long illnesses.
Chuck is survived by his daughter Michelle Gilkey and daughter-in-law Lisa Oman of Santa Cruz, CA. He remained a close and caring member of the extended families of each of his wives, including the Herrera family of Delano, CA, and the Culberson and Acord families of Bakersfield, CA.
Services will be held on Monday, October 27th. A Celebration of Chuck's Life will be held at 9 AM at Delano Mortuary, 707 Browning Rd, Delano, CA. A graveside service will follow at 11 AM at North Kern Cemetery in Delano.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that charitable contributions be made in memory of Charles Gilkey to The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is dedicated to conserving the oceans he so loved.