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Charles E. Wernimont, 83, of Dubuque, Iowa, passed away on April 26, 2018, at UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital in Dubuque.
Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 1st, 2018, at St. Joseph Church, Key West with Rev. Rodney Allers officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery with military honors by American Legion Post #6. Visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday, April 30th, 2018, at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road where a wake service will be held at 3:00 p.m.
Charles Edward Wernimont was born in Dubuque, Iowa on August 22, 1934, the son of Cyril (“Cy”) Wernimont and Mary (Cavanaugh) Wernimont. Charlie lost his mother, Mary, at age 5 and was raised by his father and his aunt (Aunty) Elizabeth. He attended Buncombe School in rural Dubuque County through 8th grade. Thereafter he worked on the family farm and on neighboring farms until 1957 when he left for the service. Charlie took a 3 day train ride to California where he met up with his company of 192 men and they took one of United Airlines first flights overseas. The flight was 33 hours to Japan and then a 3 day ship ride to Korea where he served his country in war for 16 months until, one day on the 38th Parallel, he received a telegram and he was called home due to the failing health of his Aunty. In addition to his duties as a soldier, Charlie served as an altar boy and worked with the Army chaplains, a privileged opportunity that he really enjoyed.
Charlie had met Gladys Denlinger at the Melody Mill prior to his deployment however they did not have a chance to date. He thought of Gladys much, however it was not until he returned from his service that they had their first date. Charlie enjoyed the dances at Melody Mill, their various nights out at the Grand, A&W and the Monte Carlo in his blue, two door 1959 Chevy Biscayne. In 1961 Charlie and Gladys were married and they spent the next 57 years together as a dedicated husband and wife. Charlie was proud of Gladys and how she managed to shoot bales in the wagon with the kicker baler and how she operated the D17 Allis on the farm. He was the proudest man in the country to have a wife who balanced family with bringing in the crops. Most importantly he admired Gladys’ gentle way with our family and how she always managed to stay calm and brave on the outside through the tough times of life.
Charlie is widely known for his kindness, gentleness and compassion (he is often referred to as one of the nicest people on earth) as well as those kind blue eyes. He had generations of work ethic forged by generations of farm culture. When combined with Gladys’ strong work ethic and sense of humor, these traits created children of which Charlie was very proud. Surviving Charlie, in addition to his wife Gladys (Denlinger) Wernimont, are Ronald (Ronnie) Wernimont (Amy), Diane Miner (Dave), Kevin Wernimont (Jennifer), Donna Busch (Flint Drake), Kenny Wernimont, Joyce Cravens (Shane), Joanne Reynolds (Shawn) and Julie (Buddy) Wernimont. Charlie is also survived by 15 grandchildren, Ryan (Molly) Wernimont, Brianna Wernimont, Jake (Ashleigh) Miner, Brandon Miner, Alyssa Miner, Mackenzie Wernimont, Myles Wernimont, Mitchel Wernimont, Jalee Frommelt (Cody Leib), Cody Frommelt, Alea Frommelt, Lucas Busch, Adam Busch, Jayda Reynolds and Holland Reynolds. Charlie also has two great grandchildren, Mason & Gavin. Charlie has a surviving sister Liz Decker and brother-in-law Hubert Decker. Charlie also is survived by Gladys’ siblings, Luann Weber (Milton), Marilyn Bergfeld, John Denlinger and Clair Denlinger. Charlie has many surviving nieces and nephews. Predeceasing Charlie was an infant son, Bobby Wernimont, his sister, Mary Decker and brothers-in-law, William Decker, Ralph Bergfeld and two sisters-in-law, Carol Clemens and Ruth Denlinger.
Charlie most recently worked at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and retired at the age of 79. Charlie often commented that this was his most rewarding job, bringing him much joy. He looked forward to going to work each day and the fun he had with co-workers, students and guests of Holy Trinity. Charlie loved time with his family, going for drives and following the various construction projects around the Dubuque area.
Prior to his death, Charlie expressed to his family that he wanted his obit to express gratitude and love to his wife, Gladys. Her support and love as a wife and friend were invaluable. Those who knew Charlie wish to express gratitude to him. A life of service to his country, a reputation for hard work and kindness, a loving and supportive wife and a family that had the privilege to call you our Dad and Grandpa. You were our treasure and we have been blessed. Dad, on earth you were so humble. You had a tough journey in life and yet you always managed to say, “It will be ok”. We love you Dad. Fly High in Heaven.