Charles E. “Charlie” Thomas, age 93 of Darlington, passed away Monday, April 23, 2018 at his home in Darlington. He was born March 16, 1925 in Shullsburg, the son of Walter and Mary Grace (Moore) Thomas. Charlie graduated from Darlington High School in 1944. He was united in marriage to Marion E. McGowan on May 29, 1947 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Darlington and enjoyed 68 years of marriage. Together, they raised seven children. Charlie was a lifelong farmer in Darlington and performed an array of jobs including: rural mail carrier, manager of Lafayette F.S., carpenter for Hinkins Construction and the bookkeeper for the Lamont Central Cheese Factory.
Charlie is survived by his children: Therese (Jim) Gratz, Diane Douglas, Kathy (Tom) Johnson, Beth (Dan) Prine, all of Darlington; Ted (Amy) Thomas of Argyle, Clara (Greg) Mathien of Knoxville, Tenn.; 20 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and 6 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Marion on Aug. 16, 2015; one son: Tom Charles in 1968; one grandson: Jay Schwartz in 2013; and great-grandchildren: Riley Schwartz in 2005 and Elsie Millie in 2012 and Alyvia Prine in 2015.
Charlie was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Darlington, served on the parish council, and was a member of the KC’s. He was a board member of Lafayette Electric, President of the Lafayette County Holstein Breeders Association and President of the Lafayette County 4-H Leaders Association for many years. Charlie enjoyed playing baseball and softball in his younger years. He found a great appreciation for golf in his later years, and he and Marion enjoyed many golf trips to Florida. Also, he was an avid Packer, Brewer, Badger, and Redbird fan. Since leaving the farm, Charlie and Marion enjoyed making new friends and memories at Darlington Heights Apartments.
A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church with Rev. Sudhakar Devarapu of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Shullsburg, officiating. A joint burial with the love of his life will be at Holy Rosary Cemetery. A visitation will be held Friday, April 27, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church (104 E. Harriet St., Darlington). The Steil-Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ericksonfuneralhome.com.
For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Charlie’s name.