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Chuck Shane

May 5, 1921 - January 25, 2015
Kalamazoo, MI

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Visitations


Tuesday, January 27, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and refreshments will be served.

Driving Directions

Services


Tuesday, January 27, 2015
4:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

A Prayer Service will be held at the beginning of visitation.

Driving Directions

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
10:30 AM EST
St. Joseph Catholic Church
936 Lake Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 343-6256

A luncheon will follow the mass in the church hall.

Web Site

Contributions


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.

Sisters of St. Joseph
3427 Gull Road, PO Box 34
Nazarth, MI 49074
(269) 381-6290
Web Site

St. Joseph Catholic Church
936 Lake Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 343-6256
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Although he accomplished so much of which to be proud, Charles A. Shane was a humble man whose primary focus was to serve those around him no matter the personal sacrifice. Whether it was his customers, numerous others within his community, or those serving in the aftermath of the disaster on September 11, 2001, he exemplified the verse in the Bible which states that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Chuck was a devoted family man who loved nothing more than witnessing his family tree blossom to include the numerous branches of loved ones who were his greatest source of pride and joy. A man of faith he was wise, intuitive, and driven, and with his contagious zest for life he was the sort of person whom everyone seemed to know. Chuck leaves behind a timeless legacy that will be proudly carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.

With the end of WWI in 1918, America was recognized as a world leader and poised for greatness. It was just as spring was blossoming on the town of Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1921 that Robert and Agnes (Adams) Shane were pleased to announce the birth of their son, Charles Andrew on May 5th. He was the second of four children in his family and was raised in the family home in Kalamazoo alongside his siblings.

From the time he was a young boy Chuck was a bundle of energy. In fact, he had so much energy that he spent his summers working at his cousins’ farm in Galesburg. Chuck attended St. Joseph Grade School and enjoyed things like golfing and fishing from time to time. He was also an altar server, which was something he continued throughout his entire life. Chuck’s high school years found him at St. Augustine.

Not long after graduating from high school in 1939, Chuck went on to college. He graduated from the University of Grand Rapids with his degree in pharmacy. Although he was drafted while still in college, he was able to complete his degree before leaving for the military in March of 1943. Chuck served as a hospital pharmacist, medic, and chaplain’s assistant in North Africa and Southern France during WWII.

With his military duties fulfilled, Chuck was discharged in February of 1946 and returned to Kalamazoo. He took a job at Summerlott’s Pharmacy, which proved quite fateful as it was while there that he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Shirley, and she was a coworker who was a high school senior at the time. They spent a couple of years working together and began dating during that time. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Chuck and Shirley were married on November 25, 1948.

After working at several local pharmacies, Chuck opened Oakwood Plaza Pharmacy. His patients and customers were served with outstanding care and compassion, often without regard for ability to pay and often in the middle of the night if needed. Chuck was a member and past president of Southwest Michigan Pharmacists’ Association (SWMPA). His exemplary work and empathetic care didn’t go unnoticed as he was honored as the 1984 SWMPA Pharmacist of the Year and received several additional awards in the field of pharmacy throughout his career.

Although his work was a vital part of his life, it was his role as family man that was most near and dear to Chuck’s heart. About two years after they were married, he and Shirley welcomed their first of seven children including Mary, Jean, Michael, John, Kate, Charles II, and Rick. Chuck and Shirley spent 18 years in Milwood before moving to Portage where they lived for 44 years. He played an active role in the lives of his children, and he served as a mentor to them as well. As they got older Chuck’s children helped out at his pharmacy. Summers found the Shanes spending time at their cottage on Eagle Lake in Decatur where there was plenty of fishing, sailing, heading out in the row boat, and chopping wood. At home Chuck enjoyed puttering outside in the yard as he had a passion for gardening with the most colorful display to show for his efforts. Baking was another passion, and his chocolate chip cookies were known around the world as he mailed them to soldiers who were deployed to Iraq. Chuck was also a great neighbor who kept his eye out for ways he could help including shoveling snow if needed.

In addition to gardening and baking, Chuck was a man of other interests as well. He was an amazing bridge player, and he was well versed in Latin, too. Chuck enjoyed sharing his gifts and talents with others as he was a performer in the Borgess Service League Follies and the Hackett High School Cabaret. During his younger years he was quite the dancer and entertainer who enjoyed heading out to local dance clubs, especially for big band music, waltzes, and polkas.

Even after retiring Chuck didn’t slow down and he found new ways to serve both near and far. As a lifelong member of St. Joseph Church, he spent time with the Sisters of St. Joseph/Nazareth as their pharmacist and also as a wheelchair van driver. Within the community, Chuck volunteered at Rose Arbor Hospice and the Red Cross both on the disaster teams and for local blood drives, donating more than 15 gallons of blood himself through the years. He contributed several hours of service at MSU Extension Farm Services, volunteering with the county probate court client advocate program, clowning for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, and serving with the Knights of Columbus where he held a leadership role for years. Chuck was also the president of the Kalamazoo South Rotary for a time. At the age of 80, he drove a Red Cross emergency response vehicle to New York City where he spent two weeks preparing and serving meals for those responding to the World Trade Center disaster, often pulling double shifts.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Chuck was honored as the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from St. Augustine/Hackett-O’Brien Catholic High in 1996, and in 2002 Chuck was honored with the Kalamazoo Community Leadership STAR Award and recognized for his volunteer service by Governor John and Mrs. Michelle Engler. Slowing down, Chuck and Shirley moved to the Heritage-Wyndham Retirement Community in 2013 where he enjoyed helping his neighbors in many ways.

Charles “Chuck” Shane, the well-known pharmacist and proprietor of Oakwood Plaza Pharmacy for more than 25 years, and dedicated community volunteer, died Sunday morning – January 25, 2015. He was 93. Chuck is survived by Shirley, his wife of 66 years; seven children: Mary Bellinger of Kalamazoo, Jean of Mason, Michael (Terrence Jezowski) of New York, NY, John (Brenda) of Kalamazoo, Kate of Portage, Charles II (Teri) of Three Rivers and Rick (Terri) of Schoolcraft; 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Neuman of Grand Rapids and many nieces and nephews.

A Prayer Service will be held on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 4:00 PM at Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900). Following the Prayer Service you can learn more about Chuck, visit with his family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Tuesday until 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Immediately following the mass, food and fellowship will be shared in the church hall. Burial with full military honors provided by Comstock VFW Post #6252 will take place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Donations in Chuck’s memory may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth, Michigan, or St. Joseph Catholic Church. A donation of blood to the Red Cross would please Chuck very much, but he would be most honored by your service as a volunteer.

Please visit Chuck’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook.

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