There was no hour too late to call Charles Elliot, a chaplain with Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One.
“You’d call him and he’d be there in 15 minutes, with a smile on his face, no matter what time of night,” said firefighter and emergency medical technician Paul Hayes.
Elliot, known as Chuck, died from a heart attack July 11 at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. He was 76.
One of two chaplains with the department, Elliot joined five years ago. His job was to provide aid and comfort to the department’s firefighters, their families and members of the community.
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“He’s just really hard to replace,” Hayes said.
One family who spoke with Elliot after losing their father became close enough to the chaplain and his wife that they basically adopted them into their ranks.
“They just consider him family,” Hayes said. “That was the way he helped people, spent a lot of time making sure people were getting the emotional support they needed.”
He won the department’s Chief’s Award in January for his service to the agency in 2014.
Elliot served two tours in the Navy in Vietnam on the USS Kitty Hawk. He helped local churches as an assistant pastor and in other capacities.
Elliot is survived by his wife, Jo, whom he married 29 years ago, daughters Liane and Tracy, and granddaughter Kaitlynn.
How to help
Instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Discovery Baptist Church for the De Roo Fund at discoverybaptist.org.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturdayat Discover Baptist Church, 4902 Gustafson Drive, Gig Harbor. A graveside service will follow at 1 p.m., at Haven of Rest, 8503 State Route16, Gig Harbor.