Chuck's family will welcome friends and neighbors to Hanlin Funeral Home - Vassar from 4-8 PM on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. Funeral services will be at 11 AM on Thursday, December 21, 2023 at St. Michael's Lutheran Church (3455 S. Van Buren Rd, Richville, MI 48757); additional visitation at church from 10 AM until the time of service. Interment and miltiary honors to follow in St. Michael's Lutheran Cemetery.
Charles Francis Barnett passed away peacefully on December 14, 2023 at the age of 93.
He was born on December 1, 1930 to Marguerite Saunders and Henry Barnett. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, James and Henry, brother-in-law James & sister-in-law Susie. He is survived by his sister Marguerite Hogan, sister-in-law Margaret Barnett, and many nieces and nephews. Chuck has 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild: Chuck (Deb) Barnett (Krista, Collin) of Lapeer; Ann (Marty) Zwerk (Haley (Tyler) Clack , Landon (Claire) Zwerk, Macy (Dean) DeGroff, Lainey) of Vassar, and Tom Barnett (Joshua, Madison) of Vassar. Great grandchild Harvey Zwerk.
Chuck was a member of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Richville, MI for many years. Chuck attended Bay City Handy through the tenth grade. After the death of his father, when Chuck was 10 years old, his mother ran their awning business for several years before moving the family up north to Central Lake. After his sophomore year, his family moved back to Bay City but Chuck wanted to finish high school up north. Mary Louise Morse heard of this and immediately said he could live with them until he graduated. This was the beginning of a new family for Chuck. He gained a new brother, Gary Morse, and a new sister, Mary Louise Morse. Chuck spent many summers with them on Torch Lake sailing and doing the books for the family business Brownwood Acres. Torch Lake was one of his favorite places to go. In his senior year, Chuck was the co-captain of the Central Lake basketball team which finished 3rd in the state. He also graduated salutatorian of his class.
After graduation, he attended Central Michigan University for 3 years to study business. When the Korean conflict broke out, Chuck enlisted in the United States Army. He volunteered for Korea, but was sent to Germany where he spent two years with the Army Security Agency as a Morse Code Interceptor. After three years in the Army, he went back to CMU to finish his Bachelor’s Degree.
He was married to Margaret Birk in August 1963 and they were married for 17 years. They had three children together. In 1956, Chuck received a call from Vassar High School and began his 38 year career teaching typing, general business, shorthand, and accounting. He also began driving bus for Vassar in 1956 (and later St. Michael’s) and continued driving for another 18 years after he retired from teaching in 1994. He became one of the state’s longest standing bus drivers with 56 years of driving. Chuck spent 39 seasons running the scoreboard for the Vassar Vulcan football team. In all that time, Chuck never missed one home game. He also held a near perfect record at scoring home varsity basketball games, only missing two games while teaching adult ed. While teaching at Vassar, Chuck coached the very first girls basketball team in 1962.
Chuck was the Recreation Director for the city of Vassar in the 60’s while also playing men’s softball for Mac Gillivrays. He started a men’s basketball league in the Old Central School and ran that program for 12 years.
In 1983, he became the Girls Varsity Softball coach. He, along with assistant coach Bob Callahan, led the Vulcans to 3 straight District Championships. He and Bob also coached a women’s fastpitch softball team during the summer and were very successful for many years.
Chuck also spent 35 years as an avid bowler winning 10 league championships with various teams. Having worked in a pool hall, Chuck was also an exceptional pool player. His golfing career started when the Vassar Golf & Country Club opened in 1965 where he won numerous league trophies, tournament, and club championship titles. The high point of his golfing career took place in 1992 when he scored a hole-in-one on the 7th hole in Vassar.
His biggest passion was spending time with his family. He loved going to sporting events and hardly ever missed a chance to watch his grandchildren play. He was a loving father, grandfather, and friend and will be missed by so many!
A special thank you to all of the staff at Vassar Comfort Care for taking such good care of our father the last 3 years. Also a huge thanks to Heather and Lindie at American Home Health & Hospice for making sure he was so well cared for! We appreciate all of you so much!
Kindly share a memory with Chuck's family in the guestbook below.
Donations may be directed to St. Michael's Lutheran Church.
Charles and his family are in the care of Hanlin Funeral Home - Vassar. 1148 W. Saginaw Rd, Vassar, MI 48768. Phone (989) 823-8621
Hanlin Funeral Homes - Serving Since 1928
Millington & Vassar