Charles M. Andress, 94, a longtime rural Akeley, Minn., resident peacefully passed from this life to eternal life Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at his home.
Funeral services will be held Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Faithbridge Church in Park Rapids. Visitation will be held Sept. 30 from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Park Rapids. Visitation will also be held for one hour prior to the services at the church. Interment will be held at the White Oak Cemetery at Chamberlain at 3 p.m. Oct. 1; the public is welcome to attend.
Charles was born Sept. 22, 1926, at the Andress Farm in White Oak Township to Arthur and Ethel (Sutliff) Andress. He attended Badoura Country School, Akeley Public School and went on to attend North Central School of Agriculture in Grand Rapids, graduating in 1946 with honors.
In April 1946, he was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Force at Fort Snelling. He served in the WWII Pacific Theater where he was a light truck driver and mechanic stationed on the island of Guam. He was honorably discharged September 1947 at Camp Stoneman, Calif.
Charles returned home and worked for American Hoist in Minneapolis before returning to Akeley to work on the family farm. Charles worked as a hired farm hand for the Mitchell Farm in Houghton, S.D., until 1955 when he purchased a farm in Badoura Township and operated a beef, dairy, and hog farm until he retired in 2006. He was a progressive farmer and was one of the first farmers to get electric irrigation in Hubbard County.
After retiring he enjoyed taking care of the family farm, proudly wearing his farm caps, feeding the birds, mowing the lawn, and driving a tractor.
When Charles met Jane Buck, he knew he had met the love of his life. They were united in marriage on March 20, 1947, at the White Oak Church in Chamberlain. One of Charles’ favorite things to do, that gave him the most joy in life, was to take Jane out dancing. Theirs was a great love story; the kind of pure, everlasting love many only dream of finding one day.
Charles and Jane were blessed with five daughters and one son whom they raised in faith, family and farming. He was an avid Vikings football fan, rarely missing a game. He loved teasing his grandchildren, making others around him laugh and smile, and spending as much time as possible with family.
As a man of faith he believed in the importance of prayer before meals and loved leading the blessing around a table full of family, thanking God for providing such a full and blessed life. He enjoyed hosting 55 family Christmas celebrations, where in his younger years he enjoyed playing Santa.
Charles was very passionate about his role in the community. He was a member at Fellowship Baptist Church in Nevis and Chamberlain White Oak Baptist Church and served in both deacon and church council positions. He served on the Akeley School Board, the Hubbard County Planning Commission, the Badoura Township Board, The East Hubbard County Fire Department Board, and was an election judge for many years. He also served 23 years as a director at Itasca Mantrap Electric Co-op (1981-2004). He was active in the Akeley Lions Club. He served as their President in 1981-82. He served as commander at Akeley VFW Post 8508 and helped with grant writing and distributing Christmas food baskets to members. He believed in giving, in kindness, and compassion and serving his community as it had served him throughout his life. He was also a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 363 in Akeley.
In 1989, Charles received the Outstanding Dairyman in Hubbard County award. In 2005, he was proud to be selected the Outstanding Senior Citizen of Hubbard County, a much-deserved title. He was honored to be Grand Marshal of the Fourth of July parade in Park Rapids and in 2007 he received a military veteran Honor Flight to Washington D.C.
Charles is survived by his wife of 72 years, Jane; his children, Chuck Andress of Akeley, Jeanne (Andy) Barter of Dallas, Sheryl Staehnke of Nevis, Pam (Dan) Martin of Nevis, and Lori (Randy) Beard of Bemidji; Jim Anderson (son-in-law) of Walker; sister, Myrna (Frank) Whitcomb; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ethel (Sutliff) and Arthur Andress; daughter, Sheila (Andress) Anderson; granddaughter, Ellie Andress; and four sisters, June Hemp, Ramona VanCanneyt, Charlotte Staehnke and Virginia Hensel.
Friends may leave online condolences at ceasefuneralhome.com
Arrangements by the Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids, Minn.