Community

Nash funeral: St. Francis Church couldn't hold all of the mourners

Top photo: Betty Nash, widow of Charles H. Nash, is presented with the flag from her husband
Top photo: Betty Nash, widow of Charles H. Nash, is presented with the flag from her husband's coffin at his graveside service, March 26 at St. Francis Cemetery. Bottom photo: Nash's grandchildren were his pallbearers.
— image credit: Howard Schonberger

The crowd of mourners spilled out of St. Francis Church and into the parish hall March 26 for the Memorial Mass held for Charles Hamlin Nash.

The fourth-generation islander died March 17 at R House Care Home. He was 88. He had served as Friday Harbor postmaster, port commissioner and school board member. He served as a Navy officer during World War II.

He is also remembered for his knowledge and surveys of the local bald eagle population, which led to a paper presented at symposiums in Seattle and Israel. For his work, he received the Environmental Excellence Award, presented by Sen. Warren Magnuson.

Father Raymond Heffernan, pastor of St. Francis Church, officiated at the Memorial Mass. Debbie Nash Strasser, Nash's niece, and Kathleen Wilson sang "Morning Has Broken," "On Eagles Wings," and "Shiver Me Timbers." Son-in-law Jim Lawrence shared memories.

At St. Francis Cemetery, American Legion Post 163 rendered military honors and presented Nash's widow, Betty, with the flag from her husband's coffin. The Nashes' grandchildren — Jason, Natalia, Michelle, Kyle, Mara, Kiersten, Jordan, Charles and Margaret — served as pallbearers.

A reception and celebration of life followed at Mullis Community Senior Center.

Nash's brother, Al, a former Town Council member, died two days after the service, at which he had provided a eulogy. Arrangements are being made for his service.

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