Annual Charleston "Blessing of the Fleet" on Memorial Day

In honor of the fishing community out in Charleston and the Charleston community, the annual Blessing of the Fleet and Memorial Service will be held at the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden, near the launch ramp at the Charleston Marina at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 30th .

The service will honor the local men and women involved in commercial fishing and the fishing industry who have died since 1941. This year the Charleston community will add three names to the "Lost at Sea" plaque, Jerry 'Tex' Barkley, Raymundo Cardoso, and Joshua W. Paulus. Sixteen names will be added to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman” Plaque: Joey E. Carley, Eugene E Compton, Curtis Roy Gunnari, Larry Gene Cruthers, Del C. Floyd, Miguel Gonzalez, Arnold G. Hansen, Eddie Harper, Arden Keylock, Jack T. Mardesich, Dwain A. Rayburn, Flossie 'Tot' Rayburn, John T. Stark, ‘Betty Jean’ Steward, Stephen A. Timmons, and Sid Ward. Four names will be added to the “In Memory of Fisherman's Industry” plaque: Russ B. Hanson, Mary C. Hanson, Carolyn Creech, and Warren 'Pete' Desirey.

As part of the event, William Elderkin, the local owner of a marine services firm, will comment about the fishing industry and the fisherman’s memorial, and give opening and closing remarks. Dan Collver of the Charleston Community Church will deliver a memoriam and the blessing with a song from Bill LaRondelle. The Oregon Coast Pipes and Drums will perform on the bagpipes to open and close the event. The U.S. Coast Guard will provide a color guard and advance and retire the colors.

Following the blessing and memorial service, there will be a coffee and a special cake reception at Porter Hall Activity Center behind the Charleston Community Church on Boat Basin Road. All are welcome to attend.

In addition, A Coast Guard Life Boat will load floral arrangements to take to sea and lay on the water in a brief ceremony. The boat is scheduled to get under way immediately after the blessing and memorial service, weather permitting.

The community is encouraged to provide floral arrangements or memorial wreaths, but they must contain only biodegradable materials. Local floral businesses can readily accommodate requests for this type of arrangement. Wreaths can be accepted at the Fishermen’s Memorial and then delivered to the boat if wished. 

For more information regarding this special event please contact:

Margery Whitmer, Secretary of the Fishermen’s Memorial
E fish@bettykaycharters.com // P 541-888-9021