Charles VanZile, age 91, of Sturgis, passed away Monday afternoon, Feb. 7, 2011, at Sturgis Hospital.
He was born Dec. 2, 1919, in Sturgis, a son of the late Raymond and Hazel (Comadoll) VanZile.
Mr. VanZile had resided in Sturgis since 1941, coming from Three Rivers, where he was a graduate of Three High School with the class of 1939.
On June 1, 1941, he married Phyllis Eldred in Traverse City, a relationship that began when the two were in seventh grade. She died July 8, 2004.
He retired in 1980 from Sutton Tool in Sturgis following 41 years of dedicated employment.
Mr. VanZile was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II, earning the rank of Private First Class. He was awarded one Bronze Battle Star.
He was a rock hound and enjoyed traveling, fishing, golfing, metal detecting, arts and crafts and bowling. For several years he served as a Cub Scouts leader. He truly loved time spent with his grandchildren.
He is survived by two daughters, Andrea (Peter) Stage and Phyllis (David) Falkenstein, both of Sturgis; two sons, Doug (Patricia) VanZile of Sturgis and Charles VanZile of Kalkaska; nine grandchildren, Lonnie Falkenstein, Scott Falkenstein, Randy (Jennifer) Falkenstein, Rob (Kara) Falkenstein, Michelle (Chad) Reimer, Susan (John) Roach, Leann (Brian) McIntyre, Jana Woodbury and Melissa VanZile; 12 great-grandchildren; a daughter-in-law, Mary Beth VanZile of Texas; special friends of the family, Paul Keith of Hilliard, Ohio, and Scott Griffin of Farmington Hills; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; two brothers, Raymond VanZile and Donald VanZile; and a great-granddaughter, Hannah Marie Roach.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis.
Funeral services celebrating the life of Charles VanZile will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. The Rev. Glenn Russell will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak, where full military rites will be conferred by Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW and the U.S. Army Honor Guard.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. VanZile’s memory consider Thurston Woods Village, 307 N. Franks Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091.
His obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.