Charles J. Mikesh, 86, Belmond, died June 21, 2020 at the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond with his wife and life partner by his side. Public graveside services will be held Friday, June 26 at 10 a.m. at Amsterdam Cemetery east of Goodell. The Reverends Leila Blackburn and Deb Devine will be officiating. Memorials may be directed to the donor’s choice.
Charles Joseph was born in the family farmhouse southeast of Forest City along the Winnebago River on Sept. 13, 1933 to Charles and Kathlyn (Panhoff) Mikesh. He was the last of seven children, and had five sisters and a brother.
At the age of six his family moved to the Mikesh farm at Hickory Grove northwest of Belmond where he graduated from Hickory Grove country school. In high school he was president of the junior class and president of the student council his senior year. Chuck graduated from Belmond High School in 1952.
He won a two-year scholarship to Iowa State University, but due to the loss of his father and farming, he could not go on to further his education.
He married his high school sweetheart Wanda Gifford at the Belmond Methodist Church on Oct. 25, 1953. Their union was blessed with children Charles Jr., William and Debra.
Chuck worked part-time at various jobs. He started at Larro Feeds in 1954 and worked there until the plant closed seven years later. Chuck then began with Thompson Hybrid Corn as harvest field manager. His hard work and dedication led to him becoming the plant manager for what was then Cargill Seed and later Golden Harvest until his retirement in 1996.
In 1964 Chuck and Wanda bought a small farm on Morse Lake west of Belmond. They built a new home and a 10,000- hen laying house. Chuck loved life on the farm, working the land, and reaping the fruits of his labors. He and Wanda strived to provide a nurturing home for their children and instilled in them the value of hard work. In 1988 they were named the Conservation Farmers of the Year. Chuck appreciated the land and strived to care for the soil and water through various practices, including tree planting tree. In 1992 the couple moved from the farm to their home on “the hill” in Belmond.
Chuck enjoyed tractors of all kinds and was especially fond of Fords and Alice-Chalmers. He never met a tractor he didn't like. He loved to spend time raising gardens, trading cars every couple of years, and fishing. He liked cars from the 1950’s and the tunes of that era as well. Chuck and Wanda were active in both the Goodell and Belmond United Methodist Churches and made sure their children had a faith life as well. Chuck served on the board of trustees at both churches over the years.
He loved to go on vacations to “the river” at Prairie du Chein, visiting family at Harper's Ferry, and had been to Hawaii. Chuck enjoyed the simple things of life, including his family, friends and the outdoors. He was very proud of the life he and Wanda had in their 66-year journey together, and his three children and their families.
He will be remembered by his family and those fortunate enough to cross in his life footsteps as a hardworking man, faithful and devoted to this wife and family, and for his innate ability to see and bring out the best in others. He was a wonderful caregiver to his older sisters in the later years of their lives.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Colina Haan, Gladys Shahan Pals, Grace Zaspel, Ruby Dwyer, and Constance Roley; brother George Mikesh; and great- grandson Noah Mikesh.
His life and legacy will be carried forward in the hearts and minds of his wife Wanda Mikesh; son Charles Jr. (Lori) Mikesh; son William (Tracy) Mikesh; daughter Debra (Thomas) Rouchka; grandchildren Heidi (Dave) Samai, Carrie Bileau, Pastor Dan (Olga) Mikesh, Melissa (Rick) Beckwith, Kelley (Chase) Felchle, and Andrea (Craig) Nelson; 13 great grandchildren; and sister-in-law Emily Mikesh.