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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gray Matter: Charles Addy

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Flags in Marcus are at half-staff today.  Charles "Charlie"  Addy died on September 22. 

Of course I know that only the president and state governors, under specific regulations, can order the lowering of the flag.  So actually, it's the flags of affection that each of us carries in our own hearts that are at half-mast to honor the memory of  a  very special gentleman who's been a vital part of our community as long as most of us can remember.

Charles, the oldest son of Stanley and Rachel Pimperton Addy, was born Oct. 1, 1913, on a farm in Amherst Twp.  Graduating from Marcus High School with the class of 1931, he helped on the farm for a few years and then attended a business school in Kansas City for a year.  His actual business career in our town began on March 1, 1936 when he started as a tank man for the Marcus Oil Company.  By July 1, 1940, he had become their manager and bookkeeper, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. I'm told Addy's middle initial was G. for George, but it should have been S. for Service. That can't be over-emphasized.  No matter how early, how late, how cold or how hot, Charlie never refused a service call.  Sundays, holidays, none were off-limit.  Requests, most would consider downright impositions, were always granted with an obliging grin.

But this was true in his life as well as his business.  He served on the  council, the Businessmen's Club, the Boy Scout Council and the Rotary Club, that time-honored service organization that did so much for our town.  The Golf Association was an off-shoot of Rotary, and Charles worked endless hours on bringing our beautiful course to reality.  Then there was the Medical Board -- it's solely due to tremendous effort on the part of Charles and a handful of like-minded individuals that we have the Clinic and it's services.  He was also on the Farmers State Bank board for many, many years.

Others claimed that he was a big-time star athlete in high school, a claim Charlie always modestly denied, but we do know that he was a big-time fan of all that is good about athletics.  He was very influential in the once-thriving Little League organization here in town. The MMC Eagles, the Hawkeyes and the Cardinals all shared his undying loyalty.

With mixed feelings, we want to celebrate his long good life, but still, the symbolism of  an emotional flag at half-mast is comforting to all who mourn the passing of Marcus' own Charles Addy.