Charles Oxender, 73

Charles L. Oxender, age 73, of Three Rivers, died Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He was born in Three Rivers on May 23, 1944 the son of the late Ira T. and Ann (Penn) Oxender and for most of his life resided in St. Joseph County. Charles graduated from Mendon High School with the Class of 1963. He then attended Dental Technician School before taking a job at LASCO Industries in Three Rivers. Charles was deeply committed to local history and politics, and was an assistant to Rep. Mark Siljander for two years in Washington, DC. Later he opened the Cosmic News Store in Sturgis, and retired from American Axle in Three Rivers.

Charles loved working on cars and attending local car shows, especially his annual trip to the Street Rod Nationals in Nashville with his good friend, Vince. He enjoyed browsing for antiques and researching their history. He looked forward to his local cousins’ reunions, and was known as Mr. Fix-It to his family.

Charles was married to Chris (Kopy) Watson on Nov. 5, 2004. She survives, along with a son, Christopher Oxender of Three Rivers; a daughter, Ann (Robert Hernandez) Alexandersen of Florida; three step-children, Teana Sampson and Mindy (Horacio) Cardiel both of Sturgis, and Joshua (Michelle) Sampson of Wilson, MI; three sisters, Jayne Dentler and Della Dee Haan both of Florida, and Naydean (Joe) Becker of Three Rivers; several nieces and nephews; and his close friend, Vince Mifsud.

In keeping with his wishes, cremation has been conducted. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 at the Sturgis Church of Christ with Pastor George Cleverely officiating. The family will receive friends for one hour prior to services at the church. A private interment of ashes will take place later in Parkville Cemetery. It is suggested that memorial donations be directed to the Sturgis Church of Christ, 901 N. Lakeview, Sturgis, MI 49091. Assistance was provided by the Eickhoff Funeral Home of Mendon. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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