Charles was born in Easton, Pennsylvania to Frank and Helen Bahn Teske. He attended local schools, and graduated summa cum laude from Lafayette College in 1954. He went on to Yale University, where he earned a PhD in Literature, and then spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at Bonn University in Germany.
He taught at Oberlin College before being hired as one of the Founding Deans of The Evergreen State College in 1970. He remained on the teaching faculty at Evergreen until his retirement in 1998. He is remembered and honored for his teaching of independent thinking, as well as for his caring and helping of other people.
Throughout his life, Charles also performed actively in music. He was an excellent trumpeter, played jazz and classical music in groups, and was a soloist in the Yale Russian Chorus.
Charles is survived by his wife of 29 years, Lilo; sons, Boris and Julian from an earlier marriage; niece, Brenda Lisinichia; nephew, William Teske; stepdaughter, Cornelia Kirkpatrick; four step-grandchildren; and three step-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his half-brother, Warren; and stepdaughter, Sabina Tweit.
Charlie was an outstanding human being. The erudition he passed on to others, his humorous stories, and his music-making will be thoroughly missed.
A memorial service in Olympia will be announced later.