Cover photo for John "Chuck" Davidshofer's Obituary
1952 John 2021

John "Chuck" Davidshofer

June 16, 1952 — October 27, 2021

John (Chuck) Davidshofer, 69 of Portland, died peacefully on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Chuck was born on June 16, 1952, in Dubuque, Iowa. He was the eldest son of Charles and Velma (Maas) Davidshofer. Chuck graduated from Dubuque Senior High School in 1970 and subsequently graduated from Western Iowa Tech as a band instrument repairman.

Chuck served as an MP in the U.S. Army in Seoul, S. Korea. He then moved to Portland in 1977, where after more than 40 years, he considered himself a “local.”

Chuck was co-owner of Wally’s Music in Oregon City. He was a master craftsman in woodwind repairs, specializing in saxophones and clarinets, but he could repair most any musical instrument. Chuck was a member of The National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians, Inc. He welcomed musicians at all levels to monthly jams at Wally’s for more than 20 years. He donated many instruments to kids in the area, growing music appreciation for youth in schools. As he did everywhere, Chuck created a close-knit musical community in the Portland area.

His real musical passion was for stringed instruments, especially acoustic guitar. Chuck started playing guitar when he was 15. He later mastered upright bass, and his distinctive high-tenor voice put him in much demand for the high lonesome sound of bluegrass music. He played in a number of the state’s most popular bluegrass bands, including the Sawtooth Mountain Boys; Sleepy Eyed John’s; Sam Hill; and Whiskey Deaf. At one point he even played guitar in a Dixieland band.

Chuck was a lifelong learner with enthusiasm for all things bluegrass, including hosting weekly porch jams in NE Portland where he welcomed neighbors and passers-by to join in the fun. His festival campsites were renowned for great jamming -- often into the morning hours -- and warm hospitality. Playing traditional tunes and singing tight harmonies with friends was among his very favorite things to do.

A collector of unusual things, Chuck’s eclectic interests included vintage VW’s, cast iron cookware, old flashlights, camping lanterns, musical recordings of all kinds, vintage bicycles, clocks, rocks and historical books. He was always on the hunt for a bargain at the “Bins” or for something to give to one of his many friends.

Chuck was a tinkerer. He was inquisitive, inventive and curious. He could repair anything, and he was always eager to encourage others and share his knowledge. Chuck was a homebrewer, a founding member of the Oregon Brew Crew and a certified beer judge. He was a prolific gardener who shared the fruits of his labor with friends and neighbors.

Chuck was an excellent cook who loved making meals with friends, usually without recipes. He enjoyed camping and fishing with friends at Diamond Lake and the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest.  He loved berry picking at Sauvie Island, and hunting mushrooms at numerous secret spots in the Cascade Mt. Range. More recently he had begun enjoying a yearly Winter vacation in a warm location with his partner, Kim, sister Peggy and her husband, Mike.

Chuck left a lasting impression on everyone he met. He made fast friends with anyone who crossed his path and his generosity extended to all. Chuck’s family and friends meant everything to him. He loved his children and grandchildren immensely, as only a father and grandfather could. He was considered the “glue” of his family, he was diligent in attending Iowa family reunions, loved to kid with his many sisters, and was especially close to his only brother, Don. He will be deeply missed and would want us to remember his positive parting phrase: “Keep Smilin’.”

Chuck is survived by his two children, Alecia Keong, Sheridan, OR, and Charles John “CJ” Davidshofer (Amanda), Ketchikan, AK, along with two grandchildren and his partner, Kimberly Neel, Portland. He is also survived by his seven siblings: Cathy Ludwig, Dubuque, IA; Nita Vanderah (Craig), Prior Lake, MN; Peggy Flanigan (Mike), Beaverton, OR; Mary Schmitt (Tom), Liscomb, IA; Don (LaVonne Evanson), Lafayette, CO; Liz Keiter (Ken), Eudora, KS; Janice Andersen, Goldfield, IA.

Given the current Covid situation, Chuck's family is planning a private memorial service in November.  They look forward to bringing Chuck's many friends together at an outdoor event next Spring or Summer.  For questions, or to receive notices about future gatherings in Chuck's honor, please email:

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes you to make a donation in his name to "Music from the True Vine," the weekly bluegrass show on the KBOO radio station, where he was an occasional on-air personality.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John "Chuck" Davidshofer, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 5

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree