Aug. 29, 1941 – June 24, 2020
Dr. Charles “Charlie” Edward Viers Jr., 78, and a resident of Natchitoches, passed away June 24, 2020, at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria after a lengthy illness.
He was born at home in Prichard, W.V., to Charles E. Viers Sr. and Gertrude Ival (Rayburn) Viers.
Raised in rural West Virginia to a farmer and an educator, Charlie learned the value of hard work and a good education. Charlie was a 1959 graduate of Buffalo High School in Buffalo, W.V. He attended Marshall University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1964, his masters from Kansas State in 1967 and a PhD in Wildlife Biology from Arizona University in 1970. He accepted a position with Northwestern State University in 1970 and was celebrated for his skills as an educator whose passion for knowledge translated to the classroom. There was never a student he was unwilling to help become better than the day before. Charlie retired from NSU in 2000 and began his second career as an artist. He learned his craft of pine needle basketry from Native American tribes local to Louisiana and became known across the state for his innovative and colorful design language. Charlie always said that a glass of wine helped get the colors to shine a little brighter and two glasses made the curves of his baskets a little curvier. Everyone who knew Charlie knew of his passion for long distance running. He began running in the 1960s and over the years competed in over 200 marathons across the United States, Canada and Europe. He is a member of the exclusive 50 State Marathon Association and several other prestigious athletic organizations.
He will forever be remembered as a gifted intellect with a wry wit that lived life to the fullest.
He is survived by a son, Casey Edward Slingin Viers of Tulsa, Okla.; sister, Sue Tobin; and brother, Roger Viers.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father and a sister, Jane Fry.
In lieu of floral contributions, please donate to the Charles E. Viers Scholarship Fund, C/O Marshall University, 519 John Marshall Dr., Huntington, WV 25703.
A memorial service to honor his life will be announced at a later date.