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Charles R. Bartscht
(June 5, 1920 - January 31, 2015)

Charles Richard Bartscht, 94, of Shelbyville, IL, and Vero Beach, FL died in his sleep Saturday, January 31, 2015 in The Visiting Nurse Association Hospice Facility in Vero Beach, FL.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 7, 2015 in Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Shelbyville, IL with Rev. E. Wade Helmkamp officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, February 6, 2015 in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, IL. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Shelbyville, IL with military rites by the Shelby County Honor Guard. Memorials may be given to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Shelby County Extension Foundation or donor’s choice.

Charles was born on June 5, 1920 in rural Shelby County, IL, the only son of Clarence and Cora Lilly Bartscht. A middle child, he had an older sister, Mary and a younger sister, Ruth. He was a lifelong farmer, working alongside his father, Clarence and grandfather, Charles Edward Bartscht. The family’s centennial farm, located just north of Shelbyville, was always the center of Charlie’s life. A proud “early bird” he would do farm chores including hand milking cows and then run a mile and a quarter to Killam School, the one room schoolhouse where he received his primary education.

On his 21st birthday, Charles married Oma Chastain in Webster Groves, MO. With World War II coming he enlisted in the Navy, trained in Great Lakes and served most of his Navy career in San Diego, CA where their daughter, Charla, was born. In May 1945 he was sent to Okinawa where he earned the nickname “Lucky” after dodging a sniper’s bullet.

Returning to Shelby County after the war, Charles and Oma continued to farm and had two more children, Cheryl and Clark. Charles and his cousin also had a business baling hay for area landowners. His love of farm equipment led him to purchase an early push combine and he soon created a custom combining business using it. In 1955 he went to work for ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Service) and spent 17 years there in addition to farming at nights and on weekends. All along, he continued to grow the original 216 acre farm.

While farming and raising his family, Charles was also a member of Moose Lodge #1294, VFW Post #4829 and Roy Vanderpool American Legion Post #81 all in Shelbyville. He was the founding president of the Shelbyville Lions’ Club, Past Governor of the Shelbyville Moose Lodge and a member of Jackson Masonic Lodge #53 in Shelbyville and Ansar Shrine and the Royal Order of Jesters Court Place both in Springfield, IL. He also volunteered for the American Cancer Society serving as a county, district and state volunteer raising money for cancer research. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Shelbyville and in 2012 became a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Shelbyville.

After the death of his wife, Oma, in 1997, Charles married Maridell Carpenter. He retired from farming at age 80 and they enjoyed traveling, dancing and spending time with family and friends. After her death on July 5, 2010, he married Frieda Redicks on November 3, 2012, who survives him.

“I thought it was all over when Oma died, but with Maridell I learned you could love again,” he said. “Then when I lost her, I was sure I was done, but Frieda gave me a future.” When asked why he kept getting married, he would just say that he enjoyed being married.

Charles is survived by his wife, Frieda; daughters, Charla (Richard) Fischbach of Shelbyville, IL and Cheryl (Terry) Ellison of Vero Beach, FL; grandsons, Christopher (Tiffany) Ellison of Ft. Pierce, FL and Craig (Anna Kay) Ellison of Tampa, FL; adopted grandson, Kevin (Peggy) Durham of Taylorville, IL; step-daughters, Martha (David) Lynch of College Station, TX, Patty (Jim) Finks of Shelbyville, Connie (Alan) Phelps of Neoga, IL, Paula (Ted) Eissfeldt of Bloomington, IL, Mary (John) Parkes of Camargo, IL and Heidi Bunton of Shelbyville, IL; and special family friend, Kathleen Enoch Waggoner of Shelbyville, IL.

He is also survived by his younger sister, Ruth Ballard of Muskogee, OK; along with numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and very special step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren who will miss the sunshine Charles brought into their lives.

He was preceded in death by his wife Oma in 1997, wife Maridell in 2010, son Clark in 1989, sister Mary Bartscht Helseth in 1996, mother Cora Lilly Bartscht in 1978, and father Clarence Bartscht in 1991.

“I have always enjoyed life, “Charles often told friends. “I was able to send my children to college, travel and do pretty much everything I ever wanted to do. Oh my, I’ve had fun.”

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