Charles S. Auten ’50 died on September 26, 2015, in Saginaw, Michigan.
(The following appeared at ObitMichigan.com, September 6, 2015)
Charles S. Auten, 88, of Cass City died unexpectedly Saturday, September 26, 2015 in Covenant Medical Center, Cooper Campus, Saginaw. He was born May 7, 1927 in Cass City the youngest of four children born to Meredith B. and Virginia (Wilsey) Auten. He married Lois Jean Jersey September 14, 1949 in Boyne City. They recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.
As a young man Chuck was very active in athletics, particularly Track and Field and Football. He received many first place awards throughout his high school athletic career. In football Chuck was given the honor of being voted most valuable player by his teammates. In 1945 the first varsity club was formed and Chuck was elected the first president. They named the athletic teams “Red Hawks.”
Chuck held many jobs as a young man, contributing to keeping the economy strong. At the age of 14 he drove the garbage route in Cass City which he did all through high school on Saturdays. He also had the Detroit Free Press route all through high school and was a pin setter at the bowling alley. During summer vacations, he was lifeguard at the pool, mowed grass at the cemetery, drove a dump truck for Hunt Construction and used a pick and shovel digging and replacing gas lines in Bad Axe for L.E. Meyers.
In 1945 Chuck began his military life. It was the end of World War II. He spent most of this time in the Phillippines. After his marriage he was drafted a second time finishing his tour during the Korean War. College found Chuck at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. His time there was dominated by running the half mile. He received many first place awards against many college teams including Maine State and Vermont State. By the time he transferred to Michigan State University he had had enough of track and did not sign up.
At the age of 22 years and 3 months Chuck became the youngest Ford dealer on record. His dealership received Ford’s highest honor of Four Letter Award year after year. Lois and Chuck also played with real estate with four apartment buildings and several other buildings in town. Chuck served on the board of directors of Cass City State Bank, Hills and Dales Hospital, Chamber of Commerce and Ford Dealer Board. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cass City since his birth. Chuck and Lois owned Huntsville Mobile Home Park, the Ford Garage Building, and were part owners of Lake Properties in Port Austin at one time.
After retirement, Chuck and Lois enjoyed traveling, spending summers in Boyne City and Charlevoix and winters in North Carolina and Florida. They also enjoyed their air stream trailers and the travel options these opened for them.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Lois; daughter: Jill (Thomas) Thompson of Cass City, Barbara (Edwin) Gregory of Dallas, TX; grandchildren: Jody (Christopher) Hoffman, Tyler (Chris) Lieberman, Kathryn (Michael) McLeod; great grandsons: Landon, Aiden and the third great grandson due in October; sister-in-law, Jeanne Auten of Bradenton, FL. Chuck will also be missed by his nieces, nephews and their families: Peter Schmidt-Fellner, Blair Schmidt-Fellner, Mark Schmidt-Fellner, Mardi Auten Coury, Andrew Auten, Chas Auten, Rick Jersey, Nancy Merrill and Tim Jersey. He is preceded in death by his sisters: Charlotte (Alex) Schmidt-Fellner, Carolyn Auten; brother, Frederick Auten; brother-in-law, Wallace and Marilyn Jersey; and many dear friends.