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Ken Bruening
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Charles Wakeley

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WAUSA — Funeral services for Charles Wakeley, 95, Wausa, were Jan. 7 at Evangelical Covenant Church, Wausa, with Pastor Lane Grone officiating. Services were also livestreamed on the Evangelical Covenant Church Facebook page. Military Honors were provided by Army National Guard Honor Guard.

Public visitation was Jan. 6 at Brockhaus Funeral Home, Wausa.

Social distancing guidelines were followed, with masks required.

Charles died Jan. 4, 2021, at Good Samaritan Society, Bloomfield.

Charles “Chuck” Wakeley was born June 4, 1925, in Madison, to Fred and Ethel (Varner) Wakeley. The family relocated to a farm in the Pleasant Valley area. He had a happy childhood and grew up in a loving family. During the throes of World War II, Chuck volunteered for the Army as a teenager and served his country in the Army from 1943-1946, spending his time on the front lines of the Pacific Theater. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to his beloved Pleasant Valley roots and began farming. A naturally hard worker, he thrived in this venture. Soon after returning home, at a neighborhood social, Chuck’s eye caught a beautiful young woman playing the piano. After some encouragement from his mother to overcome his shyness and speak to that young woman, Chuck met the love of his life in Helyn (Lindberg). They were married June 11, 1947, and their love grew more and more each year over their 73 and one half years of marriage, during which they raised seven children, ran a farm and cherished their partnership in all things.

Chuck and Helyn retired in 1990 and moved to Wausa in 1997, and enjoyed many years of retirement. In retirement, he worked seasonally for Marsh Farms, mowed many lawns, and moved snow for a number of neighbors well into his 80s. He often said he was more in love with Helyn than ever after moving to town and getting to spend more time together.

Chuck loved farming, but especially delighted in horses his entire life. His last horseback ride was on his 90th birthday. He had the gift of hospitality, providing horseback rides to hundreds of people from around the country and coffee for many salesmen; everyone was welcome at the table. He was a man of honor, a hard-working farmer, but most of all, a man of faith who loved his family immensely. Chuck had a wonderful sense of humor and loved telling stories. Never one to back down from a competition, he loved to play (and usually win) horseshoes, cards, pool, and ping pong throughout his life. He also enjoyed playing baseball into his 60s.

Chuck was a member of the Wausa Covenant Church, where he served in a number of ways, as deacon, usher and teaching Junior High boys Sunday School. He spent many patient hours as the pianist’s husband.

Chuck is survived by his wife of 73 years, Helyn; five children, Larry (Marcia) Wakeley, Merileen (Bruce) Thorson, Michael (Diane) Wakeley, Beth (Laddy) Carlson and Jeff (Melissa) Wakeley; 21 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Gladys Wakeley; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Harley and Don (Elaine); sisters, Eileen (Ray) McFarland and Ruth; sons, Richard (in infancy) and David; and daughter, Charlyn.