Charles E. Billings passed away peacefully Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, surrounded by his family. His life was taken away by complications from his 22-year battle with cancer. Charlie was born in Portland, Ore., on June 15, 1958, to Dr. James and Margaret Billings.
Growing up, Charlie was an avid hunter and fisherman, as well as being a highly successful competitive swimmer. He qualified for the Junior Olympics on multiple occasions, held state of Oregon high school swimming records and was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the University of Montana, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-physical therapy. In college, Charlie took up running and eventually ran a 5-minute mile. He later turned that into running 10K runs in Portland.
Charlie married Lisa in 1982, in Portland, where their two children, Ashley and Justin, were born. He went on to get a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Portland, where he worked at the Portland Veterans Administration as a nurse practitioner. His career in nursing brought him and his family to the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley in 1994, where he worked at Clearwater Medical Clinic, becoming one of the first nurse practitioners to work in the valley.
His love for nursing influenced his daughter Ashley’s choice to follow in his footsteps in choosing nursing for her career. Charlie was an active trailblazer for the medical profession until he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1996 that metastasized to his hip, and then to his brain, in 1997. In his 22-year battle, he survived cancer not once, but three, times. His community involvement with Relay for Life was a huge part of his survival and recovery. He enjoyed gathering donations for a cause that he believed in.
Charlie shared his love for the outdoors with his children. His cancer never stopped him from enjoying his hunting and fishing experiences with his son, Justin. He was a kind-hearted, generous man who thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the elderly. His enjoyment for people continued as he was welcomed to the Congregational Presbyterian family in Lewiston. You would find Charlie transporting church members, baking for various functions and just being there for his church friends. Charlie shared a special friendship with Dar, who is a member of his church family.
Charlie is survived by his children, Ashley Burman (Tyson) and grandchild Kollin Burman; Justin Billings (Kaylyn); and former wife Lisa Martin. Charlie also leaves behind his mother, Margaret, and siblings Scott Hemphill, Jim Billings, John Billings (Lori) and Ann Nagle (Kevin). He also is survived by nieces, nephews and many special lifelong friends. He was preceded in death by his father, James Billings.
There will be a celebration of life at 1 p.m. Friday at Lewiston Congregational Presbyterian Church, 709 Sixth St., Lewiston. A light lunch will be served at the church, immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations or memorials be made to Relay for Life or Congregational Presbyterian Church. A special thank you to Royal Plaza for their care and support for Charlie.