Charles (Chuck) Heberle Ludwig

Date of Birth

May 1st, 1920

Date of Death

June 16th, 2013

Memorial Meeting

University Friends Meeting


Charles “Chuck” Heberle Ludwig, the second child of Edward Roy Ludwig and Mary Harriet Gable Ludwig, was born May 1, 1920 in Minneapolis, where both of his parents had been born and raised. He grew up in the Methodist Church, a central part of their family life.

Chuck studied chemistry and graduated from Macalester College, where he took part in the Fellowship of Reconciliation.  He became a Conscientious Objector (CO) after Pearl Harbor and served in the Civilian Public Service (CPS), in 5 locations during the World War II, including a stint at Western Washington State Mental Hospital. Seattle Friends helped CO’s, giving them work on their days off to supplement their $2.50/month wages and Chuck became acquainted with University Friends Meeting and the Friends Center.  Helen Cleveland was one of the young college women living at the Friends Center. She and Chuck were married in 1945 at Helen’s family’s place in Granite Falls, WA.

After the war, Chuck and Helen lived in the Bass Lake Communal Farm in Minnesota, until the community disbanded in 1947. They moved to the Pacific Northwest where Chuck worked for Donald Dodd, whom he had met at University Meeting, producing epinephrine for asthma medication in a chemistry lab, built in the Dodd’s back yard in Mukilteo, WA. Chuck built a tiny cabin for the family on the Dodd place. Their children, Stephen Roy and Meredith were born in 1947 and 1948.

Chuck became a member of University Meeting in June 1949. His family, the Dodds and other families with young children in the Meeting formed “Little Meeting” which was more informal and child-friendly. This became    the basis of the worship group that became Eastside Meeting in 1961. A number of those “children”, now mostly in their 60s, attended Chuck’s memorial in Seattle and shared warm memories.

The family moved to Waldron Island in 1949.  Chuck would say that instead of joining an intentional community, they joined an unintentional community.  There was no electricity, running water, telephones or stores, so neighbors depended on one another and shared labor, resources and joy. Transportation was by boat or plane. The family built their own log home, cutting and peeling trees by hand and dragging the logs from the woods with horses.

Chuck and Helen divorced in 1954. Chuck married Mildred Campbell in 1956 at University Meeting. They lived in Seattle while Chuck earned his PhD at the University of Washington in organic chemistry, researching lignins, by-products of pulp and then moved to Bellingham. There Chuck worked as a chemist for the Georgia Pacific pulp mill. They were involved in the early days of the Bellingham Worship Group, where Chuck is remembered as being especially welcoming to newcomers and accepting of active little kids. While living in Bellingham, Chuck served on the American Friends Service Committee’s Pacific Northwest Regional Executive Committee from 1963-68 and 1971-75 and the Interim Seattle Peace Committee in 1972.

When on Waldron, Chuck and Mildred held meetings for worship at their home, built by Chuck in 1967. Many remember worshiping there, drinking in the beauty of the water, islands and distant Cascade Mountains. After Chuck’s retirement in 1982, they moved to Waldron full-time.  Over the years, Chuck added a water system with a windmill and water tower, solar electricity, wind generator and indoor plumbing. Chuck cared for Mildred when she developed Alzheimers until she died in March 1996.

In 1997, Chuck married a Macalester College friend, Elizabeth (Betty) Haan, from Minnesota.  For nearly 15 years they divided their time between Minnesota and Waldron and took trips around the country to see family and friends.  When Betty died in 2012 Chuck moved in with son Steve in Seattle and made it up to Waldron twice before he died in Seattle, June 16, 2013.

Memorials were held on Waldron on July 28, 2013 and at University Meeting, August 25, 2013. Both celebrated the long life of a Friend, beloved by many communities as a man walked his talk and lived his Quaker values.