Friday, February 8, 2008
11:00 AM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
with full military honors at the funeral home. Food and fellowship will immediately follow at the funeral home.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
They say you are never fully dressed without a smile and Charles “Chuck” Holland always had a warm, inviting smile on his face, greeting everyone who passed his way. He was a great outdoorsman with a passion for hunting, a pursuit he enjoyed his entire life. But above all, Chuck was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather to the people who brought his life extraordinary joy.
Times were hard in the United States in 1930, unemployment rates were high, and spirits were low as many American families tried to stretch their dollars in order to survive the Great Depression. Despite the economic hardships of the day, Glenn and Winnie (Gleason) Holland of Paw Paw, Michigan, kept their spirits high by focusing on the tiny new blessing in their lives. On September 1, 1930, the couple welcomed the birth of their first child, a son they proudly named Charles. The Holland household would eventually be a bustling place with the activity of four rambunctious boys: Charles, Bob, David and Richard.
Charles, or Chuck as he was called, grew up in Niles, Michigan, where he spent much of his leisure time playing in and around the St. Joseph River with his brothers and friends. From an early age, Chuck loved to be outdoors and developed a great appreciation for nature. As he got older, he became quite passionate about hunting, an amazingly skilled one at that. In fact, Chuck was very distressed after graduating Niles High School because he was afraid he would receive his draft notice from the military before he could go deer hunting. To remedy this, he went and talked to the recruiter, and after his much anticipated hunting mission, Chuck enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proudly served for 3 years and 9 months. During this time, his brother, Bob, also enlisted in the Navy, with the understanding that he could serve on the U.S.S. Sicily, a close support aircraft carrier, with his brother.
After being separated from the Navy, Chuck hitchhiked his way back to Paw Paw, where his family was living. Once settled into civilian life again, he found work in the Water Department with the City of Kalamazoo. It just so happened that Chuck’s boss had a pretty young daughter named Katherine Wetmore, who came to the office every so often. It wasn’t long before the two began dating, and were happily married a year later at the Lake Center Bible Church on September 1, 1958, Chuck’s 28th birthday. He thought the world of Katherine’s parents and became very close with them, so he was readily accepted into the family.
Chuck and Katherine spent the next 49 years together, raising their three wonderful children: Mary, Michael and Kenneth, and sharing many wonderful memories as a family. As a father, Chuck was a real softie, though he didn’t hesitate a moment if discipline was in order. Time together as a family was always important, and they loved to load the kids up in the car for a weekend jaunt or a leisure drive to nowhere. And every year, the family went on a summer vacation, which Chuck took great pride in planning, though Katherine was the navigator. Their travels took them all across the U.S. and Canada, and left indelible memories with everyone. To support his family, Chuck worked at Eaton for many years until his retirement. When his kids were still young, the family lived in Kalamazoo for a while, but eventually moved back to Paw Paw in 1969.
No matter where he lived, Chuck’s passion for hunting always came with him. He and his buddies, including his lifelong best friend since grade school, Melburn “Mel” Williams, went hunting together, and was known to have built some “amazing deer blinds.” Besides hunting in and around Northern Michigan, including in Peacock, Irons and Baldwin, Chuck also took his hunting to Canada. It was said that Chuck was a “purposeful” hunter, and he took great pride in teaching his sons and his grandsons to hunt in this fashion. Although he hunted, Chuck had a very soft heart for stray animals, and took in many over the years. But his kindness was also extended to kids who needed some help themselves. Chuck’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of many throughout his 77 years upon the earth!
When he wasn’t in a blind stand somewhere, Chuck had a variety of other hobbies and interests to keep him busy. From dawn to dusk, he found whatever he could to be outdoors. He and his much prized John Deere mower would be all over the neighborhood, mowing lawns, just so he wouldn’t have to go inside. When there wasn’t anything left to mow, Chuck would head to his garage to tinker on an old truck or lawn mower he had. A real pack rat, he didn’t throw anything away, since one never knew if those parts could be used to fix something else. After eventually going inside, Chuck liked to sit and watch a good documentary on the History or Military Channels, or catch a game going on. For his listening pleasure, he enjoyed the old country music, like Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty, though he listened to the hits of today too.
After Chuck retired, he never really 'retired'. One of his new jobs was delivering fish for Laggis' Fish Farm. Many came to know chuck as the smiling delivering guy for 12 years. Ture to his persona, one of the last things that chuck was overheard saying was him bragging about his grandkids. This was the way Chuck lived his life, proud of those he loved and cared for.
Chuck Holland was the kindest, most caring man who tried each day to share his happiness with his loved ones, and bring a smile to all those around him. His deeds and actions were an inspiration to those that knew and loved him. He will be dearly missed.
Chuck died on Monday, February 4, 2008, at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek. Learn more about Chuck, view his life story film and visit with his family and friends on Thursday, February 7, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw (657-3870). A service to honor his life will take place on Friday, February 8, at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with full military honors.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Katherine (Wetmore) Holland; 3 children: Mary (Ken) Springer of Paw Paw, Michael Holland of Paw Paw, Kenneth (Kimberly Sabo) Holland of Decatur; four grandchildren: Corey Sabo, Cynthia Sabo, Skyler Springer, Alex Springer; three brothers: Bob (Kathryn) Holland of Kalamazoo, David (Carol) Holland of New Guinea, Richard (Janell) of Denim Springs, LA. Please visit Chuck’s memory web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his online guest book or share a memory or photo with his family. Memorial contributions may be made to the VA Hospital.