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Charles Edward Coulter

05/29/1938 - 05/08/2023

Charlie was born May 29, 1938 to Reba and Cecil Coulter in Tatum Springs, Kentucky just outside of Willisburg. One of four boys, he grew up with brothers Glendy Allen (Libby), Gerald Wayne (Bobbie) and J. Roger.

At age 8 the family moved to Arizona where he stayed through high school graduation. Extremely good looking and athletic, he was the co-captain the football team, played basketball, and was also Class Vice President. As a youth, he picked cotton, potatoes and plums, and worked in a gas station to earn extra money.

There were lots of “high jinx” with his high school buddies, many of whom he remained close throughout his life, especially Euell Barnes who kept him supplied in pinto beans and potatoes! And Charlie Mann, with whom he lived with for a period of time in order to play football at Chandler High School, Billy Crofford, Henry Warren, Eddie Basha, Buzzy Boberg, Jackie Barnes Elliott just to name a few

After high school Charlie moved to Long Beach CA with buddy Tommy Tait. The boys shot hoops for quarters at the Long Beach Pike and Charlie secured a job at McDonnell Douglas as an apprentice welder while attending Long Beach College.

Charlie frequented an auction house in Whittier where he fostered a friendship with the owner/auctioneer. When the owner was ready to retire, he taught Charlie the “auctioneers chant” and then sold the auction company to Charlie. With his sing song call and his Southern accent he was a natural and the auction was wildly successful. Renamed “Charlie’s Auction” it remained a staple in the community for any and all types of household goods, furniture and appliances for many years.

In 1978 he sold the Charlie’s Auction and began conducting auctions for the Small Business Administration, the Department of Justice, the Resolution Trust Company and the FDIC. He sold everything from seized businesses, closed savings and loan companies and real estate. It was a demanding profession, but one in which Charlie excelled. He also became the president of the Southern California Auctioneers Association for several years.

His talent for calling an auction and his enticing southern drawl led to a lucrative job in playing the role of auctioneer for both TV shows, movies and commercials. He joined the Screen Actors Guild and had a talent agent for a number of years.

In 1981 Charlie married his soulmate and love of his life, Kathy Slayton, a transplant from Illinois. They met at Finicky’s Steakhouse in La Mirada, CA. during the very popular “80’s happy hour” times. Kathy was there with some friends from her nearby company when Charlie came in with his arms completely full of bouquets of flowers. He put them on the bar and the waitresses starting passing them out. Kathy approached him to get the story of the flowers. Charlie explained that he was exiting the freeway and saw a kid selling flowers. It was cold and getting dark and he bought all the flowers so the kid could go home. After finding out that this blonde haired, blue eyed charmer was single, she gave him her phone number. Long story short, that led to a marriage seven months later that lasted for 42 years.

These two danced through life together, first on his 40 ft. tri-commander Chris-Kraft boat, The High Bidder, and later in their 45 ft. Prevost Marathon Coach, BAB (big ass bus) where they stayed at their ocean front lot in Newport, Oregon. They did golf junkets and travels thru Canada, including Calgary Stampede, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Alaska, Prince Edward Island, Montreal, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Also New York City, family in Illinois (Ted, Betty, Susan and Mark, Teddy & Becky), family in Kentucky, (Cousin Eddie, Pat and daughter Michelle) – and attended the Kentucky Derby (6 times!). Charlie love the Derby and always waited until they sang “My Old Kentucky Home” before he would have a Mint Julip. They enjoyed the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, Las Vegas and many more adventures, including getting locked in for the night at Opus One Winery because they sampled a little too much wine on a private tour after hours and were unable to drive BAB! They also enjoyed cruises on the Seabourn and were looking forward to another cruise when Charlie passed.

Golf was a huge part of their life together, from their years at Hacienda Golf Club in Los Angeles where Charlie served as president and where they had their wedding reception.They also belonged to La Quinta Country Club for 36 years, which he described as the finest golf course he ever played. He also loved it when there was a little “skin” in the golf game as well as the gin game! Charlie played in the Bob Hope Classic (now the American Express) 17 times and his amateur team won twice!  He was in the celebrity flight when sitting President Clinton and past presidents Ford and Bush and Arnold Palmer all played together.  Kathy caddied for him that day and they were on the driving range at Indian Wells sandwiched between all of them!

During his golf days, Charlie played golf with a young 18 year old Tiger Woods at Hacienda Golf Club and came home and told Kathy, “if this kid doesn’t get hurt, I have just played golf with the greatest golfer of our time.”

Upon retiring from playing in the Hope tournament, Charlie became the announcer of the PGA players on the first tee at La Quinta Country Club. While no longer competitive in golf, he loved being involved in the tournament in this venue.

In addition to his auction business, Charlie donated his time and expertise to call dozens and dozens of charity auctions throughout Southern Calif.  He never charged a dime and helped to raise many millions of dollars for charities such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Sister & Brothers, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Heart Association, Little Company of Mary, Angles Baseball, Folds of Honor, St. Jude and    countless other charity organizations.

The light of his life was grandson Justin Miller, son of his late daughter, Gail. Justin’s wife Amber and great grandchildren, Kennedy, Maverick and Charlie (his namesake!), AKA The Miller Party of Five were a source of constant joy and pride. The many Easters the Miller’s spent at La Quinta Country Club created a lifetime of lasting memories for both Charlie and Kathy. The Thanksgiving at Arrowhead when they were all snowed in, without power to cook the Thanksgiving dinner, with Amber 8 months pregnant with baby Charlie is especially memorable. Amber’s mom Meri somehow pulled it off and Amber’s dad Randy “borrowed” some wood from the neighbor’s porch to keep the fires burning!  It was at that dinner that Charlie learned that the baby would be named after him! What happiness they have brought him!

After a very long and successful auction and real estate career, Charlie and Kathy (and their bestie Westie, Chuckie) retired and moved to Arizona. They ended up in Gilbert, AZ on the point of a lake with a pontoon boat – where the most tedious work of the day was to “shoo” the ducks off the lawn. And where they immediately felt so welcomed and included in all of the great activities afforded them by living in Val Vista Lakes. Charlie so enjoyed being around his friends, family and classmates.  His brother Roger (Glendale, AZ) and his favorite nephew Devon {Flagstaff} and Aunt Bonnie {Mesa} and her son Jason were all here for his last Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6. He had a great time. Charlie had a special fondness for sister-in-law Susan (SISSY!) who recently spent 12 days visiting. So many touched his life as he touched so many.

It truly was a life well lived. Remembrance gathering will be at a later date.


Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • I have so many found memories as a kid with Charlie. Justin and I would spend weekends at their Yoruba Linda lake house after our Pop Warner football games. We would take the electric boat out for hours! All the time we spent in La Quinta running amok. Thank you for providing all those memories Charlie.

    I going to miss you Chuck!


  • I have so many found memories as a kid with Charlie. Justin and I would spend weekends at their Yoruba Linda lake house after our Pop Warner football games. We would take the electric boat out for hours! All the time we spent in La Quinta running amok. Thank you for providing all those memories Charlie.

    I’m going to miss you Chuck!


  • Janice L Conner

    Kathy, I’m so sorry for your loss of Charlie. You have my deepest sympathy. With love, Jan

  • Cynthia Wolter

    On reading his beautiful obituary I realize there was so much more to the man for whom I already had great respect. I also found delight in the loving interaction between Charlie and Kathy. He was a blessed man who blessed others. My deepest condolences to Kathy and the world of people who loved Charlie and for whom Charlie loved.

  • Jo & Glen Leonard

    Kathy, You are so in our thoughts and prayers. We are sure there has never been a love as wonderful as yours and Charlie’s. You have our love and sympathy. All our love, Jo and Glen

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