Charles Tighe, 77, former lieutenant governor of North Dakota, died in a Bismarck care center, December 13, 2004. He had Parkinson's Disease.
Tighe was born in Fargo, North Dakota, January 21, 1927, to Benjamin Charles and Jennie (Hebenstreit) Tighe. Tighe's father was a longtime high school principal and unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic endorsement for governor in 1938.
Tighe graduated from Fargo High School in 1944 and attended Notre Dame for a year before joining the U.S. Navy. After his release from the service, he received Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Law degrees from the University of North Dakota and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1951.
He joined the law practice of John Garaas at Watford City, and subsequently joined Norman B. Jensen as assistant state's attorney and as a partner in the firm of Jensen and Tighe in Bismarck. He was president of the Burleigh County Bar Association in 1964 and a member of the Economic Development Commission from 1961-1965.
Tighe ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 1962, losing to Republican Helgi Johanneson.
Tighe served four years, from 1964 to 1968, as lieutenant governor with Governor William Guy. Tighe was the only Democrat among four lieutenant governors who served during Guy's administration, which ran from 1961 to 1972. At the time, North Dakota voters chose the governor and lieutenant governor separately; the two offices were not elected jointly until 1976.
When Guy was first elected in 1960, state officials were elected to two-year terms. The terms were lengthened to four years in 1964, when Tighe was elected lieutenant governor, defeating incumbent Republican Frank Wenstrom, of Williston.
Tighe was in the private practice of law until illness forced his retirement in the mid 1980s. He was a member of the North Dakota Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He also served as a hearing officer for the U.S. Justice Department and several years as chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Mary.
He married Dorothy Mushik in 1956. They were both active in community theater. They owned a cabin at Lake Tschida, where Charles was a notable sailor and a devout fisherman and hunter.
Dec. 17, 2004