On the night of September 24, 2021, Charles Russell Whale (Russ), a great man at 90 years of age, passed away at his home in Boise, Idaho.
Russ was born January 6, 1931, in Los Angeles, California, to Charles Fredrick and Dot Naomi Olsen Walker Whale. He was the 4th of 5 children who included Lillian, Dwayne, David, and Lyle. At the age of 16, Russ moved to Ogden, Utah. It was there he met the love of his life, June Checketts. In 1948, Russ graduated from Ogden High and enlisted the Navy. After serving 4 years, he returned to his love and married June for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple. Russ and June raised 8 amazing children: Russell, Mary, Tony, John, Karen, Carol, Cheryl, and Jennifer. These kids and their prosperity were the heart and soul of Russ.
Russ worked for IBM for over 40 years. After retirement, Russ started his second career as a Special Education Teachers’ Assistant at Lowell Scott Middle School and Centennial High School. Russ was devoted to his faith. He served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in many official callings including, but not limited to, High Priest Group Leader, Sunday School Teacher, and Elder’s Quorum Counselor. He cherished his time serving as a Scout Master.
Russ loved to serve and share kindness. Every year, he grew out his beautiful white hair and beard and donned his red suit. He portrayed Santa at many events including church Christmas parties, the Boise Train Depot, daycare centers as well as family gatherings. His favorite annual event was Christmas at Edward’s Greenhouse. Russ loved sharing the Christmas spirit and Edward’s made this event special for him each year - walking in with his jingle bells and big red bag of goodies.
Russ and June spent their retirement years enjoying community theater in the valley, supporting several softball and volleyball teams, as well as traveling with their kids. Family gatherings were a special time for Russ. Russ cherished each and every one of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Russ’ wonderful life was preceded in death by his parents and his son, John Whale. Russ is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, June; his seven children: Russell Whale (Margo), Mary Whale, Tony Whale (Carol Ann), Karen Whale, Carol Smith (Lee), Cheryl Blauer (Daren), and Jennifer Beardsley (Christopher); nine grandchildren: Elisha (Chad), Cherie (Ben), Kathryn, David, Alison, Kayla, Eric, Shirley, and Chase; and seven great-grandchildren: Damon, Kaitlyn, Aaron, Xander, Evan, Braydon, and Charlie.
In words of Santa Russ, take the extra minutes to visit with those around you, lend a hand to your neighbor, pick up the lonely child, and tell those you love – “I Love You.” As his brothers in red come out of their long rest this holiday season, let them be reminders of what Santa Russ was to all – kind and caring.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 6:30-8:30pm, Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah Street, Boise.
The funeral service will be held at 11am, Thursday, September 30, 2021, at The Legacy Gardens at Edwards Greenhouse & Flowershop, 4106 Sand Creek St, Boise. A visitation for all will precede the service from 10:00-10:45am. (The funeral service will be available to view at link below.)
Interment will follow the service at Dry Creek Cemetery, Boise.
Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
To send flowers to Charles' family, please visit our floral store.