Farming Rural 20

Charles Larry Firkins

May 9, 1936 ~ September 2, 2020 (age 84)


Charles Larry Firkins, 84, of Ellensburg, passed away at his home on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  A Celebration of Life is being planned for next spring.

Larry was born on May 9, 1936 in Rupert, Idaho, the middle of ten children born to Wilford & Vardella (Hughes) Firkins.  He grew up in Rupert and attended the local schools.  Larry enlisted in the United States Air Force in February 1955 and served in Germany and France before his honorable discharge in November 1964.

While serving in Germany, Larry met Helga Berthold and they were married on December 28, 1958.  Together they lived in Texas, Washington, and California before making Ellensburg their permanent home in 1989.  Larry worked as a Boilermaker and Weld Superintendent for many years before an injury to his back caused him to switch gears.  He and Helga both attended schooling to become Wheelwrights.  Together, as Firkins Wheelwright, and built and repaired many wagon wheels and horse drawn vehicles for people across the nation over the years.

Larry loved to fish and shared the love of fishing with his children and grandchildren.  He was a very gifted musician, often singing, playing his guitar and harmonica for the residents of local nursing homes.  He was a member of the American Legion and always looked forward to carrying one of the flags at the lead of Ellensburg’s annual Veteran’s Day Parade.  Together, Larry and Helga enjoyed their time spent with the Blue Agate Square Dance Club for 24 years and opened their home over the years to host 29 students as part of the Children of Chernobyl program.

Larry had a great sense of humor and never met a stranger.  He will be remembered for his caring nature, wonderful smile and as a man who loved all those around him unconditionally.

Larry is survived by his wife of 62 years, Helga, at their family home in Ellensburg; son Dean (Vicky) Firkins of Tacoma; daughters Jennie Firkins of Eatonville and Louise Firkins of Roy; seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren with one more on the way.  He was preceded in death by his grandson, Michael; his parents and nine siblings.

The family requests no flowers.  Memorial contributions in Larry’s honor are suggested to The Memorial Foundation, 2701 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902 for the benefit of the North Star Lodge Cancer Treatment Center or to Hospice Friends, 302 W. Second Avenue, Ellensburg, WA 98926.

Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for the family.  Online condolences may be left at

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