Obit: Charles Cressell, 44, Ludington.

January 30, 2015

cressellCharles Miguel Cressell, 44, of Ludington, passed away on Jan. 24, 2015 at his home surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer.

Charlie was the youngest child born to Marlene and Charles Cressell on Dec. 10, 1970 in Grand Rapids. He spent his first three years in Grand Rapids. His mom later relocated to Manistee where he spent the rest of his childhood. Upon his graduation from Manistee High School in June 1989, Charlie enlisted in the United States Air Force in December 1989, and he graduated USAF basic military training and Communications tech school in May 1990.

He met his wife, Susie, at Johnny’s Skate Center in Custer on May 19, 1990 while home on a two-week military leave. On June 3, 1990, he left for his first tour to Sembach Air Base, Germany. He and Susie married later that summer on Aug. 2, 1990 in Nykobing, Denmark. The couple welcomed their first child, Brandi Kai, in May 1991. Charlie and Susie spent the next few years traveling Europe while Charlie served with the Air Force. The couple then returned to Ludington in December 1993 where they would welcome their second daughter, Kyli. Charlie was soon hired into AT&T as a telephone lineman in St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area. On Father’s Day in June of 1998, the couple welcomed a baby boy they would name Charlie (Chow).

In 2001, after six years in southern Michigan, Charlie was transferred back to his hometown with AT&T where he spent the next six years before returning to college to earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University. He was then hired as a foster care worker for the State of Michigan, Department of Human Services in Lake County. He enjoyed working with all his foster kids every day and they all loved Mr. Charles.

Charlie was a devout military man through and through. In 1995, he re-enlisted with the USAF reserves out of Grissom Air Base, Indiana. Not long after he re-enlisted with the reserves, he transferred into the Michigan Air National Guard out of the 110th Fighter Wing, Battle Creek, where he was currently serving. Charlie earned his retirement status in 2013 after serving 20+ years, but he was not anywhere near ready to give up his military career. Being an airman was inherently in his blood. He specialized in communications and also attended Naval Seabee School in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he learned civil engineering. Charlie later became a First Sergeant in 2008 and later would become the Wing First Sergeant for the 110th Airlift Wing in 2012.

He earned First Sergeant of the year in 2011. As a First Sergeant or “Shirt,” “Everyone was his business” and he upheld his duty as a First Sergeant every day. Charlie’s Air Force family was a huge part of his and Susie’s lives. He earned several honor graduate awards and numerous military medals for his outstanding service to his country. Upon his completion of his senior NCO training, he was promoted to Senior Master Sergeant in July 2014.

Charlie was a kind, gentle man and had an innate love for people and life. He was a devoted husband, father, friend and airman to all that knew him. Charlie always had a smile on his face and a kind word to everyone he would meet. Susie, Brandi, Kyli and Chow (Charlie) were his whole life. Charlie loved being outdoors hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and everything else that let him enjoy the outdoors.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Suzanne M. Cressell; three children, Brandi, Kyli, and Charlie Cressell, all of Ludington; brother, Mark Laughlin of Grand Rapids; sister, Tammy Slusser of Grand Rapids; father-in-law, Richard (Barb) Seymour of Ludington; mother-in-law, Bev Seymour of Tennessee; brothers-in-law, Richard (Linda) Seymour and Clint (Jennifer) Seymour; and many nieces and nephews also survive.

Memorial services for Charles M. Cressell will be held on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the Oak Grove Funeral Home in Ludington with Air Force Chaplin Greg Vanheuklum officiating. A full military honor guard ceremony will take place after the service. The family will receive friends, fellow airmen, and co-workers at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.

Please visit Charlie’s personal page of memories at to share a story or photo.

The family has entrusted funeral arrangements with Oak Grove Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

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