Obituary of Charles Eugene Elkins
Charles Eugene Elkins was born in Myra, Kentucky on January 8, 1926. He was the first-born child to the union of Alfred Elkins and Delphia (Collier) Elkins but was raised with two older half-siblings. He was very intelligent and attended Dorton High School. Unfortunately, coming from a large family with meager means, Charlie had to quit school to work on the family homestead.
Charles enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly and honorably serving two years as a Fireman in the South Pacific Theatre during WWII aboard the USS Hancock Aircraft Carrier. He moved to Michigan as many others did in 1950 in search of work. He soon met the love of his life, the former, Ethelyn Follis. They were married in Blissfield, Michigan at the church parsonage on July 14, 1951. The couple was blessed with five children. Charles provided for the needs of his family employed by Consumer Power Company. Working as a Coal Handling Supervisor for more than forty years, he started off in Blissfield, moved to Battle Creek, and finally spent the majority of his career at the J.R. Whiting Plant in Erie, Michigan. He retired to care for his own ailing mother, sharing time with his brother, traveling to Kentucky to stay a month at a time.
First and foremost, he loved his Lord. Charles was a devout Christian and a longtime member of the Whiteford Wesleyan Church. He also loved his family and was extremely proud of every one of his offspring. He loved spending time with them and often offered to babysit his grandchildren.
Charles enjoyed woodworking and tinkering in his garage. He enjoyed collecting stuff, loving antiques, he often dreamt of owning his own shop. However, since family was always his primary focus many things that he wanted to do were brushed aside for the needs of others.
He was a member of the Lynn C. Weeman, American Legion Post 514 in Ida, Michigan. For many years he was very active at the Bedford Senior Center and delivered Meals on Wheels. He loved to converse with the shut-ins and never shied from lending a helping hand, stating that he wanted to “help the seniors out” even though he was the eldest in attendance most of the time.
Charles Eugene “Charlie” Elkins, age 97 of Temperance went to his eternal Heavenly home on Thursday; October 12, 2023. A resident of Hampton Manor in Dundee, he had been under the care of Compassionate Hospice. His passing was preceded by his parents; seven siblings: Creed Mullins, Clyde Mullins, Warren Elkins, Arthur Elkins, Crit Elkins, Julius Elkins, and Ray Elkins; and a great granddaughter: Millie Ember Sparks.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his beloved wife of seventy-two years: Ethelyn Elkins; five children: Deborah (Roy) Shields of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Charles S. Elkins (Beth) of Saraland, Alabama, Gregory (Jean) Elkins of Temperance, Michigan, David (Brenda) Elkins of Cody, Wyoming, and Lisa (James) Schubargo of LaSalle; ten grandchildren: Melissa (Walker) Thomas, Ryan (Andrea) Elkins, Kyle (Lauren) Elkins, Hali (Walter) Sparks, Ian (Jillian) Schubargo, Mitchell (Amanda) Holland, Cody Elkins, Tyler Elkins (Olivia Christensen), Josh (Brittany) Elkins, and Jaclyn (Matt) Garner; thirteen great grandchildren with two on the way.
Friends may gather from 10:00am until 12:00pm on Wednesday; October 18, 2023, at Merkle Funeral Service, Erie; 9156 Summit Street, Erie, Michigan 48133 (734) 317-7199. A Celebration of His Life will take place at 12:00pm. A procession will follow to Bedford Memorial Cemetery on Samaria Road where graveside services will be under the auspices of Erie VFW Post 3925 Ritual Team.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Bedford Meals on Wheels. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.