Charles Arthur McCaslin, 92, passed away on June 26, 2019.
Charles, the only child of Clyde McCaslin and Mary Lamb McCaslin, was born near Elkton on March 27, 1927.
He lived around the Wheatland and Galmey area for most of his life. Upon graduation from Wheatland High School in 1944, he went to Kansas City to work for Montgomery Ward for two years before enlisting in the Merchant Marines, where he helped deliver food and equipment to war-torn Europe.
When his service was completed in 1947, he returned to Hickory County and met Berniece Adkins, who was working at the Bank of Hermitage. He was taken by her beauty and she by his clear blue eyes.
They were married on May 12, 1948, by the Rev. Jim Wright and were lifelong companions and friends for over 71 years.
Charles and Berniece and their three daughters, Sharlene, Pat and Debbie, lived on a farm south of Wheatland for over 20 years and then moved to their home on the lake near Galmey in 1968. Charles and Berniece lived there until 2012, when they moved to a smaller, more convenient home close to their daughters, Debbie and Pat, in Halfway.
Charlie was one of the workers who helped build the Pomme de Terre Dam, and after completion of the dam, he worked for the Hickory County Road and Bridge Department.
In 1961, he bought his first bulldozer, started McCaslin Construction and took pride in the roads, ponds and land he cleared. A ride with him around the county, even in later years, was like getting history and geography lessons of Hickory County as he would recall so many details about so many places.
He also partnered with Kenneth Dietz in the development of several subdivisions around the lake.
In 1982, he and Berniece bought the Nemo Quarry and ran the business for eight years until having to sell due to Charles’ heart attack and health issues.
Following his retirement, he enjoyed raising tomatoes in his garden, tinkering with his old tractor, playing with his model train set and taking care of his beloved cat, Miss Bitty.
While his daughters were in school, he served as a school board member for Wheatland Public School, and throughout his life, he loved attending the events in which his daughters, granddaughters and great-grandchildren were involved.
He was a member of the Wheatland Commercial Club, the Lake League and Wheatland Baptist Church.
He loved to restore old cars and at one time restored a Model A and 1939 Studebaker that he drove in several local parades.
He also enjoyed traveling. Some of his favorite trips included times with his daughters and granddaughters in Hawaii, Germany, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., South Padre Island, Texas, and fishing in Canada with friends.
He also loved to proudly sit with Pat in the president’s box at Baker University for football games in Baldwin City, Kansas, where he got just as much enjoyment from the complimentary snacks as he did the numbers on the scoreboard!
Some of his favorite times were when he got to play cards, especially pitch, where he was a master at making impossible bids.
At the time of his death, Charles was survived by his loving and caring wife, Berniece; three daughters who were his pride, Sharlene Freeman and husband Mike, Hermitage, Pat Long and husband Dennis, Halfway, and Debbie Dotson and husband Walt, Halfway; three granddaughters who he dearly loved, Sherri Freeman Wildoner and husband Brett, Blue Springs, Michelle Freeman Barker and husband Tim, Lawson, and Nikki Freeman Chamberlain and husband, Henry, Lubbock, Texas; and four great-grandchildren who brought him much joy, Seth and Aaron Wildoner, Blue Springs, and Joelle and Preston Barker, Lawson.
Charles was known by many names to many people: Charles Arthur to older relatives, Charlie to friends and work associates, Chuckie and Sparky to his sons-in-law, Pop-Pop to his grandchildren and great-randchildren, Dad to his daughters, Charles to his loving and devoted wife, Berniece. Yet, the best name he is known by is the one written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and he will be waiting there to greet his family and friends to their heavenly home.
A funeral was Saturday, June 29, at Hathaway-Peterman Chapel.
The family has designated the following for memorial contributions: Nemo Cemetery, C/O Randy Darby, 24773 State Hwy. 254, Hermitage MO 65663, and CMH Hospice, 1500 N. Oakland Ave., Bolivar MO 65613.