Charles "Charlie" Frederick

  • Born: May 11, 1945
  • Died: January 31, 2020
  • Location: San Mateo, California

Crosby-N. Gray & Co. - FD-96

2 Park Road
Burlingame, CA 94010

Tel. (650) 342-6617

Tribute & Message From The Family


Charlie Frederick, owner of C F Electric of San Mateo, CA was a force of nature. Quick with a smile, happy to help, practical to a fault, Charlie truly enjoyed people, live music and problem solving. As early as junior high he was technically adept, repairing TVs for his neighbors for cash. In 1968, Charlie became the first black union apprentice in Los Angeles County (IBEW Local #11, District #6). Four years later, he completed his apprenticeship, as well as electrical engineering classes in the evenings. In the mid-70s, he traveled to Lagos, Nigeria to teach people how to build houses and office buildings with inside wiring at a time and place most wiring and plumbing was run on the exterior of buildings. Throughout the 80s and 90s he was wiring San Mateo and the greater Bay Area. Some remember Charlie as an entertaining manager of Vibes Blues Café in downtown San Mateo in the 90s, ready to dance with the softball leagues or hosting the Sunday Blues Jam, and others know he also did the electrical work. In 2001, after years as a journeyman and a foreman, Charlie started his own business and never looked back. Ever curious, in 2010-2011 he took a solar class at the College of San Mateo and at his professor's request led one session to demonstrate electrical equipment and tools, complete with a Q&A session. Always social, Charlie formed a study group with some classmates and one of them designed his company website. The group also went to Oakland a weekend or two to volunteer at Grid Alternatives for some practical experience.
Charlie is survived by his wife Heather Ryan and her extended family, sister Jennie Frederick, brothers Carl Frederick and Timothy Frederick (Janet), sister-in-law Chris Bassenave, daughters Monique Ralston and Tanis Wanlass (Darin), granddaughter Candice Goldberg (Olivia), grandson Paul Farmer (Annie), great-grandsons Gabriel Wood and Nicolas Wood, and an abundant array of friends throughout the country. A celebration of his life will be held for his family and friends in a month or two. We don't know that it will meet the legendary standards of his many barbecues, but we'll try to make it awesome.
Be an organ and tissue donor! The world needs more Charlies.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Charlie was the man I remember him working at Vibes and my wife and myself had lots of good times there and on the weekend barbecues at his house . He always had a big smile with a big heart and would always help you if he could. He is one man I always have good things to say about him and I will never forget him, He definitely has gone to soon but never forgotten.

Posted by Butch &Lynn Mcmahon - San Bruno, CA - Friend   June 12, 2020

For me, Charlie was the best and most loyal friend I have ever had in my life. Even though we didn't speak as often as we used to, I know that he would have dropped anything if I needed his help. He was one of those rare people who if he loved you, he loved you unconditionally. He never judged people for their pasts or their misgivings, he never judged people for the color of their skin, or for who they loved. Charlie loved people for exactly who they were. He played such a huge part in my life and I will cherish his friendship and all that he brought to my life for the rest of my days. Rest in Peace my friend. I will always love and miss you.

Posted by Carey Wykoff - S SAN FRAN, CA - Friend   June 11, 2020

I just found out a few days ago after I referred a neighbor to Charlie for some electrical work, that Charlie was no longer with us. Charlie had completely upgraded the power and wiring in my home. I told my neighbor that Charlie was an honest contractor who provided good work, always tried to meet his client's schedule and came when he said he would. Aside from those professional virtues, he was such a pleasure to talk to and work with. I shall miss his enthusiasm and kindness.

Posted by Joanne W. - San Francisco, CA - Acquaintance   April 29, 2020

Charlie helped us out several times. He was a man You could trust to get things done right! He seemed to be always very busy and full of energy. I will miss him. My condolences to his family and good friends.

Posted by Gary Wada - Atherton, CA - Coworker   February 20, 2020

Rest in Peace , Charlie. It was a joy to have known you. Your kindness and laugh will never be forgotten.

Lisa E

Posted by Lisa Anne Eckert Eckert - San Mateo, CA - Friend   February 19, 2020

My Dear Charlie. The best man I have ever known. There aren't words to describe the hole he left in so many hearts. You will never be forgotten.

Posted by VICKI THOMAS - Auburn, NY - Friend   February 16, 2020

Forever Love

Posted by Vicki Thomas - Jordan, NY - Friend   February 16, 2020

Charlie is one of a kind. We met in the solar class at CSM where his charm, character and humor quickly infected me and others around him. It was very clear that Charlie cared deeply about the quality of his work and the safety of those working with him. I am sure many jr. electricians learned under his direction and experience through the years.

--- When some of us went to the Oakland solar training for Grid Alt., Charlie rented a vehicle to carpool and paid extra for an old-school GPS unit that selected a rather creative route. With a car full of men each trying to interpret the GPS directions, much hilarity ensued. Somehow we made it just as the class began.

--- When my wife and I finally upgraded our 50s electrical and kitchen, Charlie was the only one for both jobs, in my mind. We have never regretted that decision. Not surprisingly, Charlie had a tight camaraderie with his team. Charlie was the only contractor we ever used that did not result in more problems. The work was impeccable and it was clear he wanted the job done right.

--- Charlie and Heather hosted many BBQs over the years and those are some of the best social events Nancy and I have been to in the last decade. With a crowd of people, Charlie's style of humor and intense teasing would be in top form. He would trade "insults" with me, then turn on a dime to Nancy and speak so sweetly. I loved every moment of it.

--- For Heather, we can only imagine life with Charlie was rarely dull and we grieve the loss of her beloved partner, and our friend. All our love to Charlie's children, family and friends.

Posted by Dan & Nancy C. - Pacifica, CA - Friend   February 06, 2020

Charlie Frederick -- a loving, giving, talented, smart and able, musical man who did so much with his life, most of which was for the benefit of others. It's an understatement to say that Charlie will be missed, and he will be remembered with love by hundreds of people. R.I.P., dearest Charlie ...

Posted by Diana Reddy Clark - Zionsville, IN - Family Friend   February 06, 2020

God Bless Charlie. He was one of my most favorite patients who took loved to be in control with his care.
Charlie would not accept his brain was faster than him. He was always trying to keep up with himself. He so loved his wife Heather of whom he talked so kindly of. He bragged about all his Grandchildren too. It was a pleasure to know and take care of Charlie. He won't be forgotten.

Posted by Rebecca Wotawa - Pacifica, CA - Acquaintance   February 05, 2020


Family Album


Community Photos

Charlie and Heather, forever ... a 2009 photo