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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Charles Addington would agree that he was one of the kindest and most generous people around. He was the sort of person who would help others in ways both great and small while expecting nothing in return. Chuck was a longtime resident of his community, and he was someone everyone seemed to know. Life will never be the same without Charles here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young men and women had answered the call to serve during WWII. With the end of the war in 1945, there was dancing in the streets. The years that followed found our nation in the midst of transitioning to becoming a nation at peace once again, and the baby boom was underway. It was amidst this exciting time that Clarence and Elizabeth (Weurding) Addington announced the birth of the baby boy they named Charles Mason on September 23, 1947, in Paw Paw, Michigan. The oldest of three, Chuck was joined in his family by his brothers, Doug and Craig, and his sister, Diane. He was very close with his siblings, and from a young age he came to value his loved ones. Chuck’s father was a pipe fitter who also had a small farm while his mother had more than enough to focus her time and attention on at home.
In many ways Chuck was a young boy of his generation. He was a bustle of activity, and he knew how to find a bit of mischief at times. On one occasion, Chuck cut his sister’s hair when he was playing barber and convinced Diane to sit his chair. He once stole a paddle from his school principal, which probably stemmed from being in a little trouble now and then. He learned to drive a tractor on the family’s farm at a young early age as they had both an orchard and a vineyard. As a student he attended local schools including Lawton High School where he played the trumpet in the school band. In addition to holding down his studies, Chuck not only helped on the family farm, he also worked the Turner’s farm on a regular basis.
After graduating from high school Chuck soon joined the Air Force. By the time he was 20 years old, he was a lead mechanic on the Air Force base and was one of the first to work on the F-14 Tomcat.
Chuck’s strong work ethic followed him throughout his entire life. He enjoyed his work as an electrician, which came as a bit of a surprise in the beginning. Chuck was also a member of local IBEW 131. For years he also served as a volunteer with firefighter with the Lawton Fire Department as well as the local Quick Response EMS team. While living in Wright, Wyoming for a time, Chuck even helped establish the fire department there. It was a coal boom town and when Chuck arrived there the only permanent building was the post office. After retiring as an electrician, Chuck started driving truck, transporting seasonal loads for local farmers. This was a great fit as he had his Class A license from his time in the military. When the recession hit, this became a good income alternative during the slow economic times.
Not to be forgotten during Chuck’s years in Wyoming was his introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was JoAnn. Chuck was working at a power plant at the time. JoAnn and her sister went to see a show at a local club. Chuck couldn't help but notice her and introduced himself. They hit it off right away and JoAnn was struck by what a great conversationalist he was. Chuck asked her a lot of questions, which showed her that he was genuinely interested in her. They began dating, and with the desire to spend the rest of their lives together Chuck and JoAnn were married in Wyoming in 1981. Not only was he blessed to share much of his life with his true love, Chuck was also thankful to be a father to their son Cole, as well as his 3 children from a previous marriage, Nancy, David, and Jennifer.
Many things kept Chuck busy over the years. A true adventure seeker, Chuck would set his mind on a place to go, and while there he soaked up every bit of every trip from Mt. Rushmore to the backwoods of Canada and beyond. What made these trips even better was sharing them with his family. Chuck wasn’t able to take as many vacations as he would have liked, but when he had time to take off he made sure to make the most of it for his family. Chuck also enjoyed beekeeping and he sold honey at local farmers markets. He was also a gardener who was known primarily for his delicious strawberries, growing them in baskets so that he wouldn’t have to bend over to pick them. Much of the fruit was made into jellies to give away. After persistent conversations from elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he and JoAnn became members of the church. He enjoyed watching Fox News, and when it came to music ABBA was at the top of his list.
With a life that spanned times of great change around him, Charles Addington was an extraordinary man to know and love. Determined and hardworking, he genuinely cared about others. As Chuck’s family and friends can attest, one of the greatest lessons he taught was through the way he lived his life, to be your own man, strong in your beliefs and convictions. Chuck was content in whatever life brought, and he always treated everyone with respect no matter their differences. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.
Charles Mason Addington, of Paw Paw, Age 72, died on February 17, 2020. Chuck is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Diane Riegle. Surviving are his wife, JoAnn; children: Nancy, David, and Jennifer from his previous marriage, and Cole Addington; 2 grandchildren: Emma and McKenna; siblings: Doug (Marci) Addington and Craig (Diane) Addington; and many nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held on Monday (FEB 24) at 12 p.m. at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy, Paw Paw, (269) 657-3870 with visitation one hour prior. A luncheon will follow at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Co Rd 665, Paw Paw. Burial will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (FEB 25). Visit Chuck’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society.