Charles N. (Chuck) Searles died on Aug. 18, 2012, at his long-time West Union home, after a short battle with leukemia. He was born Nov. 10, 1922, near Boscobel, Wis., to Mildred (Glasbrenner) and Charles Searles, Sr. He was raised on his grandparents’ farm in Marietta Valley with his cousins and brother. Chuck graduated from Boscobel High School and attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he played on a championship football team.
His education was interrupted in 1942 by World War II when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was chosen to fly B-24 bombers in the European theater. After many missions and heroic experiences, he was assigned to the Pentagon in the post-war period.
Chuck married the beautiful Ruth Marie Knutson of Blue River, Wis., on Nov. 7, 1945. Their love was an action word that filled their lives with wonderful experiences in many places, and with many close friends. They lived as soul mates for close to 67 years.
While in Washington D.C., they had a son, Paul. At the rank of lieutenant colonel, Chuck was discharged in 1949. Chuck and family returned to Blue River, where he owned and operated a Pure Oil gas station and bulk oil business. Daughter, Shelley, joined the family. After several years, Chuck found himself in the livestock feed sales business, first for Pillsbury and later for Hubbard Milling.
During this time the family moved to Iowa, living in West Union and Cedar Rapids. He travelled over a large territory until accepting a marketing management position in Cedar Rapids. Much of his leisure time was spent at Lake Delhi, teaching his grandchildren the art of fishing. After retirement, Ruth and Chuck returned to West Union.
Chuck’s first love was Ruth and his family; he was the beloved “Pop-Pop” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But close behind was fishing. He was a great fisherman who always managed to catch the biggest or the most fish, and he would tell you so! He loved his garden and always grew enough to share. He enjoyed golf, travelling to Orange Beach, Ala., playing poker, hunting and watching Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin football. Chuck was a proud member of the American Legion, VFW, West Union Masonic Lodge, El Kahir Shrine and Zion Lutheran Church.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Ruth: son Paul (Lesta) Searles of Madison, Wis., daughter Shelley (Frank) Kuennen of Solon; grandchildren Stephanie (Mick) Donohoe of Cedar Park, Texas, Kylie (Ryan) Mausser of Amana, Michael (Karen) Searles of Leander, Texas, Greg (Nicole) Kuennen of Solon, and Adrienne Searles of Madison, Wis.; as well as seven great-grandchildren, Jack and Dane Dohonoe, Berkley and Baylor Mausser, Kailey and Casey Searles, and Kayla Castillo. He was so very proud and close to his Glasbrenner family, as well as nieces and nephews on the Knutson side, Joene and Rod Marty, and Kim and Steve Anderson, all hailing from Wisconsin. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, brother, sister-in-law and brother-in-law.
His presence will be missed, but his legacy is living in the hearts and minds of his family and friends and will be passed on to future generations.
Visitation was held at Burnham-Wood & S.K. Rogers Funeral Home, West Union, from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, with a Masonic service following.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, West Union, officiated by Pastor David Grant and Pastor Ginny Olson. Graveside services with military honors were to be conducted on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 1:30 p.m. in Blue River, Wis. Preferred memorials are to Zion Lutheran Church or Heart of Iowa/Palmer Hospice.
Burnham-Wood and S.K. Rogers Funeral Home of West Union are in charge of the arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at skrogersfuneralhome.com