Memorial Celebration For Long-Time & Beloved Saugatuck Resident Charles Rea Sept. 24th
Charles Irwin Rea,was born on January 30, 1936 at Henrotin Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, to Robert Roberts Rea and Marion Irwin Rea.
Chuck and his twin brother Jim grew up on the south side of Chicago, in the Chatham Fields neighborhood. He enjoyed scouting, becoming an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. He graduated Hirsch High School where he played basketball. After high school he attended and graduated from Lake Forest College with a bachelors degree in speech. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and active in the theatre. While at Lake Forest he was a member of the Madrigal Singers at the First Presbyterian Church. Chuck was also in the United States Navy Reserve.
Chuck spent his summers in Saugatuck, Michigan, where his parents owned a “summer home”. Chuck loved water sports and became an avid water skier., a love he shared with O’Tossa Russell, whom he married his senior year at Lake Forest.
While growing up and as a young adult, Chuck was an active member of Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church at 8100 S. Calumet. He sang in the church choir and was a member of the Men’s Club, and Crerar was where his two older sons (Charles and Robert) were christened.
Upon graduating from Lake Forest , Chuck took a job with a Chicago newspaper in their advertising department, and later became the Home and Gardens Editor of the Southtown Economist.
While raising his young family in the south suburbs, Chuck was always actively involved in the school., community and church (serving as a youth group leader, usher and Deacon).
As a church leader he was actively involved in the rehabilitation of the Pine Trail Camp in Saugatuck in the 1960’s. When his sons were old enough to be in sporting activities and scouting, Chuck became a little-league coach and a scout master.
In 1967, Chuck purchased Trevathan Printing Company in Batesville, Arkansas (specializing in legal-brief printing). Again, Chuck got involved in the community affairs of this college town, including Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Chamber of Commerce.
He also became an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Batesville, again serving as an usher and Deacon. That is where his long-awaited daughter, Amy Lee was christened.
In the early 1970s, the family moved back to the south suburbs, settling in Park Forest, Illinois. Chuck became a successful account executive with the RH Donnelly Company, while remaining active in his church and various civic groups. He also continued to serve as a youth sports coach for his sons’ teams.
Chuck remarried in 1978, to Mary Fisher, in South Holland, Illinois. He moved permanently to Saugatuck in 1980, where his son Dustin and daughter Ashley were born and raised.
For many years in Saugatuck, Chuck was a sought after painting contractor, while remaining active in the community, as was his habit. He was again active as a scout leader as Dustin participated in scouts, and made presentations to the local schools on the history of the Saugatuck area and old Singapore.
Chuck was active in the local parks and the annual Christmas Carol production. He was a member of the choir and other activities at the First Congregational Church in Saugatuck for a number of years.
Chuck was also an avid wooden boatsman. In his later years he enjoyed a variety of activities, attending plays and musicals in Grand Rapids and Chicago with his daughter Ashley and musical events with his son Dustin’s band.
He also enjoyed attending soccer games, band competitions, swim meets, cheerleading competitions & various other events with his daughter Amy, her children & grandchildren.
He enjoyed the company of his five children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He celebrated his 80th birthday in January 2016 with all of his children and several of his grandchildren and great grandchildren at The Southerner in Saugatuck.
Chuck passed unexpectedly at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana, surrounded by all five of his children, their spouses, six of his grandchildren as well as his life-long companion, and twin brother, Jim and his wife Marilyn.
Chuck is survived by his sons Chuck, Bob (Babette) and Dustin (Sara), and his daughters Amy (Rick) Patrick and Ashley (Nathan) Little-Rea. His grandchildren, Amanda, Jessica (John), Alexandra (Peter), Erica, Hana, Jack, Trevor, Miranda, Eric, Cash, Charlie, Jagger, Jude, Axl and Arlo, six great-grandchildren, his twin brother Rev. James Rea (Marilyn) and his niece Pamela (Jim) Harding and nephew Kevin (Lauren).
A memorial celebration service will be held at the First Congregational Church in Saugatuck on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 3:00 P.M.
Donations in Chuck’s honor may be made at that time in Chuck’s memory to the church.