Garnand Funeral Home
Charles Milton Dew (1932-2012) passed away peacefully in Ulysses, Kansas on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, after a hard-fought battle with myasthenia gravis. He was surrounded by members of his family as he advanced from this life into the next.
Though Charles spent the last five months of his life in Utah, where skilled specialists attended to his condition, he was a Kansan through and through. He loved the farm in Grant County that his grandfather and parents, Charles and Maude Dew, homesteaded in 1914. He grew up farming with his father and older brother Glenn, and over time Charles built the family farm into a thriving agri-business. He felt there was no profession more noble than farming, and he was excellent at his craft. Building his farm was truly one of his dearest loves.
Charles attended high school at Ulysses High School and loved to talk about his role on the varsity football squad that played the first-ever football game at Maxwell Field.
He then went west to college, attending Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah, where he walked on to the varsity football team–but where, more importantly, he met and married JoAnn Petersen on February 6, 1953 in the Logan Latter-day Saint Temple. He and his new bride returned to Grant County, where they raised a family and have made their home for the last sixty years. JoAnn was the great love of Charles’ life, and he often said that marrying her was the smartest thing he ever did and the greatest blessing he ever received. In time, Charles and JoAnn had five children: Sheri, Steve, Cindy, Michelle, and Brad.
He was proud of his family and cheered on his children as often as he could, attending countless ball games and other activities. And the farm became more a way of life than a business, as Charles worked alongside his children, teaching them by example about hard work, endurance, and what a job well done looked like.
Charles was a commercial pilot and loved flying his planes. Planes weren’t the only mode of transportation he enjoyed. He could have been the poster boy for Ford Motor Company and John Deere. And as much as he enjoyed pickups and planes, he loved the KU Jayhawks more, going so far as to schedule a surgery around KU games. Amidst it all, he served for more than a decade on the USD 214 School Board.
Charles was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served many years in leadership positions, including as president of the Ulysses Branch and as a member of the Kansas West district presidency. He and JoAnn served twice as missionaries in Nauvoo, Illinois, where they loved the people they served and the missionaries they served with. Charles had a deep conviction that the gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored to the earth, and he devoted himself to the service of the Lord even as he and JoAnn focused their family on the teachings of the gospel.
In countless ways, Charles’s life was a testament to a truth that all farmers understand–that you reap what you sow.
Charles was preceded in death by his son Steven, his grandchildren, Tanner and Amanda Pennington, and by his great-grandson Bridger Baer. He is survived by his wife of 59 ½ years, JoAnn, and by his children: Sheri Dew, Sandy Gardner (Steve’s widow, now married to Richard Gardner), Cindy Pennington (Jim), Michelle Baer (Mike), and Brad Dew (Lisa). He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to skilled and caring doctors, nurses, and hospice professionals at various institutions in Kansas and Utah who provided exceptional care to Charles in the past several months, including the Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Utah Valley Specialty Hospital, Aspen Ridge Rehab Center, Maple Mountain Assisted Living Center, and the Legacy at Park View care center. After heroic efforts to extend his life, it became clear that the time had come for him to take the next step in his eternal progression.
Friends may call at the Garnand Funeral Home (405 W. Grant Avenue, Ulysses) on Friday evening, August 31, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. or Saturday morning, September 1,from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (210 W. Maize Avenue, Ulysses). Funeral services will begin Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. The family recommends that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Cancer Society (in care of the Mortuary) or the LDS Humanitarian Fund, 50 E. North Temple, ,Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.