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Charles Allen Alires
Ta'neeszahnii- Tangle Clan
June 17th, 1986 – February 2nd, 2023
Charles Allen Alires, age 36, was taken from his loved ones in this physical realm on February 2nd, 2023 and walked into his ancestors’ arms who greeted him warmly and softly, with love as big as rainbows, surrounded by glittering star spirits and by the soft colors of his homelands. He was welcomed by his dog Amigo as well.
Charles Allen Alires was born on June 17th, 1986, to his mother Arlene Alires (nee Wortman) and his father Roy Sisto Alires. He grew up on the east side of Salt Lake City, enjoying his childhood and his adulthood in his home on West Temple. He graduated from Ben Lomond High School with many friends that enjoyed his friendship until his death. He was three credits shy of graduating from the University of Utah with a dual degree in Sociology and Communications. Charles fought so hard for his humanity and rightful space as a Native American student at the University of Utah, eventually becoming President of the Inter-Tribal Student Association.
Charles was a passionate poet, writer, and dedicated warrior. He was a profound intellectual. A sharp dresser. Many would describe him as the realest, the most genuine person with the uncanny ability to connect with people from all walks of life on a deep level. He had an uncommon ability to find what connected him to people from other nations and cultures. This bought him so much joy in life. He was generous to a fault. He would literally give away the shirt off his back and did so many many times. You could bump into him at any party and marvel at his ability to dance with a glass in his hand. He had a beautiful and infectious smile and laugh; you could not help but laugh out loud when he did, even if you were mad at him. He had a strong heart but was also the softest goofball. Charles was so incredibly funny. He had the sweetest heart and the kindest spirit. At home, he loved to stay up late, listen to music, and write! This is where you would find him in serious contemplation. He would pour all his struggles, fears, thoughts, and musing into his writings. He had a most tender and vulnerable heart, leading his life with love.
Chuck was deeply loved, cherished, and valued by communities here in SLC and around the world. Condolences have poured in from as far as Mexico and New Zealand. His love for the people was felt deeply by anybody he came across. Charles spent years defending the sacred earth, waters, and the youth in all the spiritual and physical frontlines. He fought the desecration of the Tavaputs Plateau and Oak Flat. He answered the call to protect Bears Ears, the waters of Standing Rock, and the Oka Lawa camp. He championed legislation at the Utah Capitol and took to task anyone who dishonored his culture or people. With his brothers and community, he once shut down the Utah legislation to remind the senators that he would not tolerate the disrespect of Native women. The best was when he walked with his Diné brothers and sisters through his homelands of Dinétah (Navajo Nation). With hearts full of bravery and mouths full of prayers, they ran John McCain out of Window Rock to protect their way of life.
He is survived by his maternal grandfather, Wilson John Bedoni. Charles loved the time he spent with him on the reservation and wished he could have spent more time with him.
He is survived by his first home, his first educators, his first loves, his parents Gordy and Arlene who provided him with anything his heart desired and needed. He was brought up in a home full of love, teachings, home cooked meals, and 70’s music. His father is a warrior (Vietnam Vet) and instilled in Chuckie the ability to never back down for what he believed in. Charles felt that the unconditional love from his parents was the biggest blessing in his life, echoing the teaching of his mother, FAMILY FIRST and to do good in this life.
He is survived by his brother Amilio Alires (Jennifer Alires). Their brotherly bond was like no other. Two peas in a pod. They shared a childhood full of mischief, experiencing life together, and sharing their favorite music and Pokémon cards. Amilio was Charles’ greatest ally, a built-in playmate, and a sparring partner. They were each other’s first best friend…. learning about love, forgiveness, and compassion from each other. Charles would never hesitate to run at a moment’s notice to spend time with Amilio and Jennifer for family dinners, eating Jennifers’ delicious meals and asking her to braid his hair. Charles loved to get his nails done by Aiyana, play with Yohann, and joke with Rain. He encouraged them to follow their dreams and aspirations.
He is survived by two older brothers Roy Jr and Anthony Alires and their families. Despite the distance, Charles loved his brothers and wished the best for them. They are legacies of their father, a concrete part of Charles’s heart. He spoke often about wanting to visit them.
He is survived by his sister Michelle Alires (Thomas Bankhead), who was the quintessential big sister. Charles loved to joke back and forth with Michelle. Echoing the teaching of his mother Arlene, family was everything, including his niece and nephew that were building their lives outside of Salt Lake City.
Charles loved and admired his big sister Valerie Haraki, deeply desiring to protect her from the time he was a little boy. Family dinners and celebrations at her house were always full of love, joy, and laughter. Charles’ nephews lit up his spirit and heart. Chuckie was so proud of Heath Jr, Hemi, and Taye, loving them tenderly and affectionally. He was the best, crazy, funny, goofy uncle!
We honor the sacred and unconditional love between Charles and Yumi.
Charles came from a huge and extended Alires/Bedoni/John family, too numerous for us to name individually, but the love is felt. Thank you.
Charles is preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Rosemary “Rose” Bedoni John. His paternal grandparents Pablo and Marie S. Alires. A plethora of paternal uncles and aunts, specifically his beloved Uncle Ernie. His beloved cousin Jessie. His maternal uncle Emerson, who Charles aspired to be like. His cousins whom he loved, Eve, Samantha, Michael, and Frida. Lastly, his sweet nephew Anaru, whose memory Charles honored any chance he got. We hope you are holding him in your arms.
Special thanks to Lindsey at the Odyssey House FACT team for her advocacy.
If you ever shared a meal, a smile, and space with Charles, we thank you!
The world is less bright without Chuck’s smile, righteous anger, and fire for THE PEOPLE.
REST IN POWER, BEAUTY, PEACE, AND LOVE! ONE LOVE!
Saturday, February 18, 2023
10:00 - 11:45am (Mountain time)
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Starts at 12:00pm (Mountain time)
Saturday, February 18, 2023
12:00 - 1:00pm (Mountain time)
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