Charles Lee Verhines, age 86 years, a resident of rural Creal Springs, Illinois, passed away Thursday, November 15, 2018, at 10:55 AM at the Harrisburg Medical Center
He was born on September 29, 1932 at his grandmother Rushing’s home just outside Tunnel Hill. His parents were Aubrey Verhines and Lucille Rushing Verhines.
Growing up, his elementary school education was divided between Sullins School in Johnson County and Beidler Elementary School in Chicago. He graduated from Sullins School in 1945. His high school years were spent attending Gage Park High School on the south side of Chicago from which he graduated in June 1949.
Following high school, Charles was employed at Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois until entering the U.S. Army in April 1954. After completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Charleswas stationed at Marshall Army Airfield, Fort Riley, Kansas with a helicopter flight school unit for six months. After that assignment was completed, he spent the balance of his service with a Nike Missile Battery located in Jackson Park on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago.
Upon his discharge from the army, Charles returned to Western Electric for two more years until he moved to central Illinois where he managed a nightclub for two years before starting a job with Canteen Company from which he later retired after thirty years of service.
Along the way, Charles was married and divorced twice. The first marriage was to an Italian lady named Maria which lasted 20 years. The second was to a German girl, Kathleen, who was 16 years his junior and this marriage lasted 15 years. There were no offspring from either union.
While he was employed at Canteen, Charles pursued his life-long love of flying by earning his Commercial License with several ratings in land and sea planes along with Flight Instructor Ratings CFI, CFII and Ground Instructor. For seventeen years he worked as a part time flight instructor at local airports during the evenings and on weekends. For 35 years he also owned his personal aircraft (a 4 place single engine Aero Commander) which he finally parted with after giving up flying in 2005.
Among his other hobbies were gun collecting, the shooting sports and big game hunting. In the 1980’s, he participated in hand gun competition in the IHMSA matches held in Illinois and won several first place state trophies. Over a period of 40 years, Charles always looked forward to his annual trip to Colorado or Wyoming in pursuit of Mule Deer and Pronghorn Antelope.
In 2005, Charles purchased an eleven acre property near New Burnside and moved from his East Peoria home to Johnson County where he was born.
He was a life member of the Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club in Chillicothe, Illinois, having served on their board of directors for 12 years and one term as president. Also, he was a member of the N.R.A., the A.O.P.A., and the American Legion.
Military honors will be accorded by the Heyde-Pillow VFW Post # 1301 of Marion, Illinois and the Illinois National Guard Burial Honors Detail at 12 Noon Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Reynoldsburg Cemetery near Tunnel Hill.
Those attending the service are asked to gather at the cemetery at 11:45 AM.
There will be no public visitation.
To share a memory of Charles or to leave an online message of condolence, please visit www.baileyfh.com
Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.