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Donald Claude Charles, age 94

Posted: 20 July, 2012

A private memorial will be held for family at a later date for  Donald Claude Charles aged 94 of Wayne. He died Wednesday July 18, 2012 at Providence Medical Center in Wayne NE. He was living at Careage in Wayne. Memorials may be directed to the local food bank.
 
Don was born on April 22, 1918, and grew up in Dayton, Iowa. He attended Dayton High School, Fort Dodge Junior College, and Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI). Following a stint of teaching, he entered the service of his country in 1941. After attending Officer Candidate School and the US Army Armor School he served in Europe as an officer in the 736th Tank Battalion, earning three battle stars and the Bronze Star medal for courage under fire.
 
Following the war he returned to the US where, boarding a train one day in 1945, he found himself seated next to an appealing young woman. A year and a half later they were married, and he and Anne shared life for the next 65 years. Don earned his M.A. and PhD degrees at the University of Nebraska and in 1951 joined the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University, where he practiced his profession until retirement in 1988, remaining Professor Emeritus until his death. Throughout his career he greatly enjoyed lecturing and teaching at universities throughout the country. Don founded and headed the ISU Honors Program, making it possible for gifted students to pursue work at a higher level than would have been available without the program. During his career he produced scores of professional books and papers, including a textbook which became a standard in teacher education both here and abroad. He was also a pioneer and leader in what was then the emerging field of gerontology. Don was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Gerontological Society, and served on many boards and committees related to psychology and aging at the local, state, and national levels.
 
Don loved music, literature, and - his passion from boyhood onward - gardening and horticulture. He was a longtime member of the Ames Choral Society and a former Trustee of the Ames Public Library. Don and Anne always took great pleasure in travel. Retirement allowed them to visit many parts of the world, but it was always clear that what they enjoyed most about each trip was experiencing it together. At home they each pursued a multitude of hobbies and interests, usually in the company of a cat or two.
 
Don was always busy. He once wrote “Work is what I know, and what I am impelled to do, but I define ‘work’ in a fashion that pleases me.” Throughout his life he seized the day and lived in the present. For Don and for Anne too, yesterday was gone, tomorrow might never come, but today was always in their hands.
 
August 12th would have been their 65th wedding anniversary.
 
Don was preceded in death by his parents Claude and Helen and his daughter Linda. He leaves behind his wife Anne Mallonee Charles, children Chris of San Francisco, California, Laura Penlerick of Wayne, and Andrew of Naperville, Illinois, grandchildren Jenny, Sara, and Jay Schrader, Brittany and Nick Penlerick, Owen Charles, Lee and Nora Charles, and great-grandson Alejandro.
 


 
 
 



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