Friday, July 27, 2018
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served.
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.
Charity of Your Choice
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Perhaps it was his giving nature or the genuine concern he showed for others, but for those who had the pleasure of knowing and loving Charley Endres, their lives were made richer, for in the very heart of Charley, his sense of integrity and dedication knew no bounds. Never one for fancy cars or materialistic things in general, Charley was content with what he had. Most importantly, he valued the love of family as his most prized treasure. A loving and dedicated man, Charley worked selflessly to provide for those entrusted to his care. He was a wonderful example for his children and grandchildren to live by, and friends considered him ever loyal. Although deeply missed, Charley leaves a lasting legacy always to be remembered.
Charley’s story began in the year 1928. An exciting time in our nation’s history, the Roaring Twenties redefined the culture of America while the entertainment industry reached new heights. The discovery of Penicillin forever changed the field of medicine, and legendary baseball players set astounding records. Although the U.S. was on the brink of the Great Depression, Charley’s parents welcomed in the New Year with the birth of their only son, Edward “Charley” Endres, born on December 31, 1928. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan alongside his four older sisters, as the youngest Charley was completely spoiled and a bit of a rascal during his childhood. His father worked as a railroad engineer with New York Central while his mother was a busy homemaker.
Having attended St. Joseph Elementary School, Charley enjoyed a childhood typical of his generation. He shared many boyhood adventures with neighborhood friends, and found his share of mischief, too. While the onset of the Great Depression and the trying years that followed cast financial uncertainty, Charley immersed himself in his love for collecting sports cards. Unfortunately, when his family sold and moved from the house some years later, he left all the valuable cards behind.
Like many young men during World War II, Charley felt the call to duty and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Stationed in Germany during the war, Charley looked up some of his relatives while there as his family was from Germany. Charley formed many close bonds with his Army buddies while in the service. For many years he stayed in touch with several of them and they even shared visits throughout their lifetimes. One of his good buddies hailed from Ohio and the two shared the common, Ohio versus Michigan rivalry.
Charley returned home to Michigan at the war’s end. Like his father before him, he soon began working with the New York Central Railroad. Charley liked those he worked with and together they shared much camaraderie. The hours were long and tiring, and accidents weighed heavily on him as it was not easy work and often dangerous. Many of his co-workers lacked high school diplomas so Charley stepped in and encouraged many of them to study and earn the licenses they needed for certain duties on the railroad. In so doing, many were able to better their positions. After 38 years with New York Central before retiring, Charley himself had climbed the ranks as a railroad engineer, just like his dad.
After long hours away from home, Charley’s beloved wife Dorothy was always there to greet him. They met on a blind date and went to the Pacific Island Club for dinner. They were happily married on November 30, 1968 at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo, and later, they attended St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church. Charley was always late for everything, and when they got married, Dorothy wanted to teach him a lesson. She was deliberately half an hour late to their wedding, and everyone thought she had backed out, especially Charley! He was very relieved when she finally arrived, but Charley didn’t get the hint, and continued to always run late.
Dorothy had three children, Rob, Michael and Janet Jameyson from a previous marriage, and Charley lovingly took them on as his own. He was a wonderful stepfather, and they added to their fold with the birth of their son, Charley. They decided to have one child together as Dorothy thought Charley needed one of his own to better understand kids. From the very beginning, Charley and his son were close and grew incredibly more so throughout the years. As a family they spent many summers vacationing at Spider Lake near Traverse City where Charley’s parents also often visited. It was big enough to play, but small enough so they could have their fun without the worry of big boats. They enjoyed fun-filled, memorable times there and many memories of young Charley having baths in the kitchen sink.
Charley loved sports. Having always been thin, it is somewhat surprising to know he was a boxer in his youth, but he could hold his own, for sure! He enjoyed playing billiards at home and was quite good, too. In fact, friends often invited him to play at some of the local pool halls. When his son Charley was just three or four years old Charley would take him bowling to give Dorothy some free time. As he tried to teach and coach his son in bowling, he often said young Charley just wouldn’t listen to him. Over the years, his son became the better bowler and as Charley aged, his son often said, “Dad just won’t listen to me”. Charley was very proud when his grandchildren started to become exceptional bowlers in their own right. Later in life, Charley especially enjoyed bowing with a senior league at Continental Lanes and Airway Lanes.
Golfing was another sport Charley dearly loved and he enjoyed it regularly with three close friends in particular who all had gone to elementary school together. Charley also helped coach the high school golf team when his son was in high school. Young Charley took after his dad both with golfing and bowling. Charley’s integrity was evident in every facet of his life, especially when it came to sportsmanship. When he worked with the kids on the golf team, he taught them it’s more important to be a good sport than to be a winner. He ingrained in them to never cheat, even when no one is watching.
Charley never wanted for anything. He liked the simple pleasures in life, and seeing those he loved happy. It was difficult for Dorothy to even buy him a gift because Charley was so non-materialistic. Yet when it came to his family, Charley was generous in every way. However, this past November was Charley and Dorothy’s 50th wedding anniversary. At the suggestion of Fr. Bill from St. Catherine’s, Dorothy’s surprise gift to Charley was renewing their vows. Following the ceremony they enjoyed dinner at the Beacon Club and much to her surprise, Charley gave Dorothy 50 beautiful roses to celebrate their special day.
Charley Endres was one of the most loving, caring and giving men anyone could meet. Always generous, if he could help someone, he would. He typically thought of those who struggled, and taught Dorothy how to be a generous tipper as he understood the wait staff didn’t make much money, and it was important to be generous with tips. Family meant the most to Charley, and in them he found his greatest joy. He was proud of them, and cherished times spent enjoying their company. Although he leaves much to be remembered, Charley will be fondly missed in the hearts of those who knew and loved him best.
Charley took God’s hand and went to be with his mother, father and sisters in eternal heaven on Monday July 23, 2018. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Dorothy Endres; and children: Charles Endres of Schoolcraft, Rob Jameyson of San Diego, CA, Michael Jameyson of Charlotte, NC and Janet Jameyson of (Boise, ID) and lots of adorable grandchildren and great grandchildren. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Friday (July 27) from 5-7 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr.; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday (July 28) at 10:30 AM at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, 1150 Centre Ave.; Portage. Family and friends are invited to attend a luncheon in Charley’s honor immediately following mass in the church hall. A private family only burial will be held later that day. In keeping Charley’s wishes all memorials in his name should be a gift which helps others in some way such as a donation to a charity or church of one’s choice or to St. Catherine’s migrant program. Please visit Charley’s memory page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home.