Cover photo for Sfc Charles R. Leath, U.S. Army, Retired's Obituary
1944 Sfc 2022

Sfc Charles R. Leath, U.S. Army, Retired

April 14, 1944 — October 21, 2022

Niles, Michigan

Sergeant First Class Charles Richard Leath, U.S. Army, Retired, age 78 years of Niles, Michigan, Honorable Veteran, proud Freemason, and loving family man died unexpectedly at 2:24 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2022 with his family gathered around in the Emergency Department of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana following a battle against cancer.  His family is grateful for the efforts of the ER staff, and for the care of the oncology staff at Saint Joseph’s.

He was born on April 14, 1944 in Niles to George “Jack” Leath and Ola May Lansdell, and was graduated from Saint Joseph (Michigan) High School before entering the United States Army.  He began with the other soldiers, earning weapons proficiencies, driver and mechanic qualifications, and completing overseas posts.  With successive re-enlistments, he moved into human resources, earning a bachelor’s degree, and eventually specialized in recruitment and retention for which he earned the Gold Recruiter’s Badge with three sapphire achievement stars.  He continued his education in administration and non-commissioned-officer courses, and was promoted to Sergeant First Class, the rank at which he served his final ten years prior to retirement on April 30, 2004.

Outside of his military service, Chuck was just as active and productive, taking leave for certain periods to work at the former Bendix Automotive in South Bend and the former Buchanan plant of Clark Equipment.  Even in retirement, he drove for Niles Dial-A-Ride.

While stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis, Chuck began in 1989 to move through the degrees of the Masonic fraternity, joining the Mystic Circle Lodge #685 F&AM.  He added a membership at the Saint Joseph Valley Lodge #4 F&AM in Niles.  He was also a member of the York Rite bodies, and of the Saladin Chapter of Shriners International with a special interest in the Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago.  He was also a member of the American Legion Post #51 in Buchanan.  Above serving his country, being a productive member of society, and his fraternal activities, Chuck loved his family.

On October 15, 1966 in Berrien Springs he married the former Barbara Ann Johnson with whom he celebrated just a week ago the remarkable fifty-sixth anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes his wife, Barbara Leath and their children, Cathy (& Raymond) Kohne of Greenville, Tennessee, Cindy (& Jacob) Schram of Niles, Lynette (& Dave) Wideman of Niles, and Lisa (& Paul) Leath of London, England; grandchildren, Courtney (& Ben) Caputo, Carissa Kohne, Ashley (& Joe) Kent, Jamie (& Eric Quint) Gray, Brandon (& Amelia) Wideman, and Mackenzie Wideman; great-grandchildren Riley, Braydin, Trace, Logan, Bentley, Savannah, Landon, Norah, and Ellie; and Chuck’s siblings, Mary Greenwood of Los Angeles, California, Tony Dunnem of Niles, Linda McKinley of Jackson, Michigan, Betty Decker of Jackson, and Dorothy Teeples of Jackson; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and step-mother, Virgie Prince and several siblings, Jackie Leath, Barbara Hathaway, and Jimmy Leath.

The Masonic Funeral Rites for Charles Leath will be conducted at Noon on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at the Saint Joseph Valley Masonic Lodge, 227 East Main Street in Niles, and will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Army Honor Guard.  Contributions in memory of Chuck may be made to Shriners Hospital For Children Chicago, 2211 North Oak Park Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60707; https://www.shrinerschildrens.org/en/locations/chicago .  Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online condolences may be left at:

www.halbritterwickens.com

Chuck used every day of his life in a manner that made life better for others, a remarkable testimony of fulfilling the command to Love God and Love People.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sfc Charles R. Leath, U.S. Army, Retired, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Masonic Service

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Saint Joseph Valley Lodge #4

227 E Main St, Niles, MI 49120

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Veteran's Flag Presentation & "Taps"

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Saint Joseph Valley Lodge #4

227 E Main St, Niles, MI 49120

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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