Obituary: Charles Williams, 87, Ludington

December 2, 2019

Charles Williams

Obituary: Charles Williams, 87, Ludington

Charles Wesley Williams, 87, of Ludington, passed away on November 30, 2019 after a hard fought battle with cancer.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, who he was married to for 52 years and a sister, Lois Williams Stewart. 

He is survived by his five children: Paula (Mark) St. John, Patti (Charles) Loft, Chuck Williams, Janis (Larry) Jourden, and Audra (Paul) Larson; grandchildren Ed Caspersen, Ryan (Veronica) Caspersen, Jeff (Emily) Caspersen, Savannah (Steven) Wade, Levi (Nicole) Loft, Megan (Ben) Renkema, Shaelynne (Jay) Dennis, Kalsey Williams, Jessi Wilson, Jaralee Sobers, Autumn Jourden, Raymond Jourden, and Gerri (Paul) Mascorro, Ashley (Matt) Umbanhowar, Sierra Larson, and Logan Larson; 49 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; his sisters Dorothy Manley and Shirley Koviak; and his brother Clifford (Stella) Williams.

Charles was born on May 26, 1932 in Fountain, the son of Charles and Ada (Goff) Williams.  Charles left school early to help on the family farm, until he was drafted into the United States Army when he was 18.  He was a member of the 25th Infantry in Korea, deployed to the Chosin Valley Reservoir. He was awarded the Korean Service ribbon, Bronze Service medal, United Nations Service Medal, American Presidential citation, Combat Infantrymen’s Badge and a Medal commemorating the 50th anniversary to the end of the war.

After being honorably discharged in 1954, he came back home where he met Helen Genson while skating at Johnny’s.  They were married on May 7, 1955. Charles and his wife loved to square dance so much, they ended up hosting a community party every New Year’s Eve, where families could dance all night while they brought in the new year.  Charles was a volunteer fireman for Hamlin Township for 26 years and worked at Dow Chemical for 30 years.

Neigh Haven Stables, which Charles established in 2003, brought so much joy into his life.  He built an indoor horse arena where people could share his love of horses. He was an avid supporter of 4-H both with his children and the kids who boarded at the barn attending the shows out at the fairgrounds watching the kids show their horses. He purchased an old-fashioned popcorn machine and enjoyed making bags of popcorn for the kids and boarders. Another activity he enjoyed was driving a team of horses in the Victorian Sleighbell Parade in Manistee every year. He was often the co-pilot on the wagon with his daughter. There will be an empty seat in the wagon this year at the parade.

Charles was hard working and didn’t hide his emotions.  He loved hanging out with his friends during his permanent social engagements: Thursday morning cinnamon rolls and the Friday morning barn breakfast.  Charles was a colorful character with a sense of humor to match. He enjoyed deer hunting, traveling and camping with Helen, and living on the farm where his family raised their own food.  

This past April, Charles was honored to fly to Washington D.C. with his daughter Patti on Talon’s Out Honor Flight for Veterans. He treasured that trip very much.

Those on Facebook will notice considerably less in their feed and phones will have much fewer text messages now that this social butterfly has passed.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Victory Baptist Church, with visitation starting at 10 a.m..  Memorial contributions may be made to:

Talons Out Honor Flight 

P.O. Box 280

Portage, MI 49081

Please share your fond memoires of Charles at

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington.

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