Charles “Charlie” K. DeForest, 89, of El Dorado, died peacefully on Sunday.
Charlie was born June 24, 1931, to John and Cleo (Marsh) DeForest in Peabody. He married Joyce Krehbiel on June 14, 1953.
Charlie graduated from Peabody High School in 1949, where he was class president, and Kansas State University in 1954, where he was in Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
After he graduated, Charlie served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Germany, where his eldest daughter was born. After Charlie, Joyce and their daughter, Beverly, returned to the family farm in Florence, Kansas, they had two more children – Charles D. “Chuck” and Diane.
They moved to Peabody in 1963, Charlie continued his farming operation, including hogs, sheep, cattle, chickens and turkeys. He served as a Marion County Commissioner for 19 years. After his retirement, he and Joyce moved to El Dorado where they lived out the rest of their days together, until her passing on Dec. 3, 2019.
Charlie was a successful farmer and businessman, a devoted husband, and a beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He was kind, generous and often thought of others before himself.
One of his proudest accomplishments was teaching each of his nine grandchildren to fish. He always was ready to help or loan you the tool you didn’t know you needed.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Douglas (who died in infancy), John “Jack,” and Richard, sister Sally, and his wife of 66 years, whom he often called “Joy.”
He survived by sisters Cleo “Jean” Smith and Linda (and husband Charlie) Long, son Charles D. (and wife Catherine), daughters Beverly (and husband Greg) Buster and Diane (Brad) Nightengale, grandchildren, Riley (and wife Kelli) Buster, Ashley (and husband Doug) Dickey, Lydia Buster (and Jon Yedoni), Jessica (and husband Adam) Klausmeyer, David (and wife Abigail) DeForest, Roger (and wife Laurie) Nightengale, Laura Nightengale, Jaclyn DeForest and Casey Nightengale, and great-grandchildren Carter, Wyatt, Hazel and Violet Dickey, Hudson, MaKinlee and Benton Klausmeyer, Haskell, Hattie, and Oakley DeForest, and Victoria Yedoni.
Cremation services have been accorded. A private service will follow.
The family requests that memorials be sent to the City of Peabody Park Improvement Project, in care of Vintage Bank Kansas, PO Box 131, Peabody, KS 66866, or to nonprofit organization KPTS Channel 8.
The family requests that friends sign his online guestbook at www.carlsoncolonial.com/tributes.