Carl spent his last five days in The Ohio State University Hospital—and if hospital is the alternative, what better place is there than to be within eyesight of the Horseshoe? He was blessed to be surrounded by a great team of doctors and nurses. Had he been privileged to have hand-picked just one nurse, of course it would have been Jon, with whom he had bonded during a previous visit. Shawna, you, and Tom and Mike ran a close second. Y’all done good! We knew that he was well cared for at the Ross.
Saturday was a special day since his beloved Bucks gave Maryland a lesson in Offensive Football 101, walloping the Terrapins 66-17.
After spending the night with his soulmate, Amber, and bro-in-Law, Seth, very early Sunday morning he mouthed "I love you" to Amber. A few, short hours later, he took one short, final breath and was immediately met by a heavenly welcome committee, which included a few of his favorite Old Testament characters, two of the Apostles, bro Bobby Dale and sis, Joyce. Then, he was ushered off to have lunch with Jesus. The two of them have had a long-term personal relationship but finally meeting Him face-to-face was the absolute coolest thing ever!
Carl was born and raised in the inner city of Meeker, just two doors east of Detwiler’s Tavern. The tavern was a really unique small town neighborhood joint, having the usual cast of town characters hanging out but also a place where teetotalers could be comfortable, get a good san’wich, play pool, or get initiated in some serious cut-throat euchre.
His favorite haunt while growing up was spending an inordinate amount of time down on the banks of the garter snake-infested great Tymochtee. His first attempt to explore the treacherous waters of the crick beyond the environs of Meeker Methodist Church was poling on a raft consisting of an abandoned door he found along the highway near Ed Spangler’s grocery store. He was actually a pretty fearless kid. His camping food usually consisted of a peanut-jelly sandwich and roasting field corn he swiped from Wylie’s nearby field.
“Introverted people person” best describes him. He loved family, friends, and strangers about to become friends. He was also one of those fortunate folks to have a couple of lifelong friends, Charlie Schnitzler and Ben Morse. He and Charlie started 1st grade together, with Ben starting a year behind, and Carl was fond of saying that Ben never did really catch up. Carl graduated as a Ridgedale Rocket, went to work for Gen Tel, took a hiatus to serve Uncle Sam in post-war Korea, and returned to GTE, eventually retiring from there.
Carl, Ben and Charlie kept in contact through the years, but they became really close during the past year. Carl made twice-weekly trips to the Meeker area to spend time with his cohorts. They visited, tried to outdo each other with their stories, and kept most of what went on from Amber. One of the things they always did was to make a trip to Mary’s Amish bakery near Pfeiffer Station and purchase a pie, take it back to Charlie’s place, cut it in three pieces, and wash it down with a couple cans of Pepsi. All this was supposedly unknown to Amber. Carl’s first attempt at gardening was this year with the guys, and he almost bit off more than he could chew—50 tomato plants, sweet corn, cabbage, onions, carrots, beets, radishes, butternut squash, punkins, and peppers (both mild and HOT!). He was heard to tell the guys, “Boy, I never realized gardening required so much work”. He even helped Amber with the canning and freezing of the garden goods.
Brother Tedd was considered the goofball of the family, often to the embarrassment of family members. However, Carl was always there, encouraging him to even greater heights of foolishness.
As is the case with everyone, Carl had his share of ups and downs; but God was saving the best ‘til last, when he brought Amber into his life. The connection was immediate, and thirteen years of a Christ-centered marriage soon followed, enjoying the fellowship of Worthington Christian Church. The two of them were not only a loving married couple—they were “best buds”. He really looked forward to their special anniversary trips. In September of this year, even tho’ it was an abbreviated trip to northeast Lake Erie region, Carl was on cloud nine during the entire trip. He was quickly adopted by his newly-acquired in-laws and out-laws, and another annual event that he looked forward to was the Henderson bonfire in Lebanon. Just to give you an idea of what it’s like, think of the Burning Man thing in Nevada in miniature. It’s truly a sight to behold.
Son Matt and wife, Jen, have always been a source of great pride to Carl, even though Matt makes him look pretty puny. The trip to CO this May to visit them was a highlight of his life! He loved having Matt guide them through the Garden of the Gods, taking the train up Pikes Peak, and walking across the Royal Gorge. He even drove the 19 hours straight back home!
Both visitation and a Celebration of Life will be held at the Worthington Christian Church, 8145 N. High Street, Columbus, 43235. Visitation: Wednesday, October 13, 5:00-8:00 PM and Thursday the 14th, 9:00-11:00 AM, followed by his Celebration service at 11:00. Carl was a casual fella, so casual dress, please, and Buckeye attire is more than welcome.
Memorial donations may be made to either: Worthington Christian Church Care Ministry, (where he helped with the Grief Ministry) or SourcePoint, 800 Cheshire Road, Delaware Ohio 43015 (where he spent many hours trying to impress the guys with his so-called pool expertise).
Happy trails, Charlie!