Charlie was born in Boise on March 1, 1948. He grew up on the family ranch on Canyon Creek and he died in the arms of the faithful companion of his last six years, Marilyn Bledsoe.
He is also survived by his mother, Lorna E. Frost Cairns, 89, who resides in Garden City, his sister, Susan Cairns Philley and her husband, Michael Philley, and a niece and nephew, Kimberly S. Philley and Matthew Cairns Philley, all of whom reside in Boise.
His father, Chester "Arnold" Cairns, preceded him in death in 2004.
Charlie graduated from Mountain Home High School. He attended Boise Junior College before serving in the Idaho Air National Guard and working as a welder in Pennsylvania.
Charlie buckarooed on several ranches in the high country of northern Idaho.
Charlie was a simple man; his resume read: "Fair buckaroo, good mule man, reluctant truck driver, just fair guitar picker."
He loved training cowdogs, making music with his friends, woodworking, riding his Harley with his biker buddies, and was content to spend hours reading beside his wood stove.
Charlie leaves behind so many dear friends, including Don and Geraldine Moore, Steve and Janet Neff, Gary Moore, Norm and Joyce Close, Don and Jean Brown, Ken Smith, Pinto Bennett, Mike and Marilyn Landers, and Irv and Sally LeVine.
He was a member of the Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association for many years, and will be missed by all members as well as far too many other fine friends and musicians to mention--but you all know who you are.
Charlie lived his life his way. In accordance with his last wishes, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Bruneau Legion Hall on Saturday, Jan. 26, from noon to 5 p.m. There will be a music circle, acoustic only, along with a potluck--please bring a dish to pass. Dixie will open the Cowboy's Pastime next door early for anyone who would like a cocktail and for those who want to continue playing music after the celebration.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Charlie's honor can be made out to the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Association, PO Box 1306, Missoula, MT, 59806. Please address any donations to the attention of Treasurer Jim McCauley.
Cremation is by Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel.