Charles W. Anderson Jr., 95, formerly of Lincoln passed away at 10:55 a.m. on February 3, 2018 at Martin Health Center in Bloomington.
Charles was born on February 4, 1922 in Lincoln, IL; son of Charles W. and Emma (Schwantz) Anderson Sr. He married Mary Jane Gayle on July 22, 1945 in Lincoln, IL. She preceded him in death on February 5, 2015.
Charles is survived by two daughters: Virginia Gayle Johnson, wife of Kenneth who reside in Sterling, Illinois and Susan Elizabeth Anderson, wife of Carl Bennett who reside in Bloomington, Illinois. He has six grandchildren: Darren Johnson (Meredith), Kathryn Stroyan, Emily Bozek (Joseph), Peter Stroyan (Jennifer), Teri Johnson, and David Bennett. Charles is survived by eight great-grandchildren: Alikah Marshall, Aiden and Piper Stroyan, Alexander and Jackson Johnson, Travis Campbell, William and Teddy Bozek.
Charles was on the board of American Red Cross of Logan County for 17 years, with 15 years being the Chairman. During the time the chapter grew from blood bank only to a full activities chapter; which means an office with paid staff members, detail disaster plans, first aid and CPR classes. Other programs that were established: Fire and Tornado Relief and Chemical and hazardous Materials Handling procedures. Charles personally trained guards for first aid and CPR when the prison opened and has personally been an active blood donor, providing 12 gallons of blood over the 17 years. His chapter had received an award for being one of the top chapters in the country. He received the Clara Barton Medal for service of only 2 persons in Logan County to receive the award in the history of the chapter.
Charles was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Lincoln, IL, where he served as Superintendent of Sunday School, provided guidance to remodel classrooms to be more functional and efficient. He worked with the church youth by raising money for turkey dinners to the community, served as a lay pastor for area churches when their ministers were on vacations, and served as Trustee of Church Board. He also served on the Lincoln Elementary School Board for 9 years, a number of those years as President. More recently he has been a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington.
Charles joined the Masonic Lodge in 1942 and became a Master Mason in 1976. He started the Lincoln Masonic Foundation with $1,100.00.It has since grown over $60,000.00. He was also a member of the Knights of the Cross of Honor, and is a 32nd Degree Mason. In 2015 he received the 70 year member award.
In the community Charles worked as a postman, a union leader until he became supervisor. He led and assisted in fund raising drives to improve the community, including United Way and even the funds in 1954 to help establish the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. He was the Lincoln Courier Citizen of the year in 2003.
Charles enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940 where he trained as a flight engineer. He was a member of the 15th Air Corps and flew in a B-24 Heavy Bomber from a base in Italy. On his 8th mission in August of 1944, his plane was shot down, and he helped a number of his crewmates prepare and proceed to parachute out. They landed in occupied area and were they were captured and became POWS. Sometime through the experience his left leg was wounded. He was awarded 2 Purple Heart Medals.
Visitation for Charles will be from 9:30-11:00 a.m. Thursday February 8, 2018 at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home in Lincoln, IL with Rev. John Richmond officiating. A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. continued by Masonic Services also at the funeral home. Burial at New Union Cemetery will follow, where full military rites will be accorded by American Legion Post#263. Memorials may be made in Charles name to the Lincoln Masonic Foundation INC or St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.