Charles Oral Gash Jr. was born March 12, 1920 in Adrian, Missouri to Charles Oral Gash Sr. and Mabie (Hammack) Gash. They moved to Fairmont and opened a shoe shop, and when working the shop with his Dad, Charlie saw Elvera Gustafson walk by and said “that’s the girl I want to marry!” Elvera however would not even go out with Charlie because he didn’t go to church, so yes, he started to go and eventually gave his life to the Lord. They were married March 13th, 1941 even though a doctor told Elvera that because of type 1 diabetes she could not live another year. They trusted God and lived together 59 years before she died.
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Charlie was drafted in 1943 and left to fight in the pacific in World War II when Elvera was pregnant with Joanne, their first child. Stationed on Saipan, Charlie did shoe repair and photography, after the war, he enrolled in Midwest Bible College in Oklahoma City and became a preacher for the next 70 years, starting and growing many churches in the four-state area. They bought a home in Sibley, Mo. to raise their two children, Nancy and Joanne, eventually retiring there until Elvera died in 2000.
One year later at a missionary convention he met Maxine Fream Phipps, recently widowed. He fell for her, even though at 76 she was headed for China to serve in a Christian mission school for handicapped children. Charlie loved computers and wrote love letters to her viva computer while in China, and won her heart. They were married in Hun Chun China in December 2002, and retired to a Spring River retirement village in Joplin, MO until his death November 1, 2020.
Charlie loved people and taught Sunday school at the village for several years, always giving everyone a hug. He kept a phone ministry, calling over fifty people he knew every Saturday. He called his daughters every day as long as he was able, showing his pastor’s heart and his consistent love for those around him and for his family. He loved hymns, and would mouth the works even when unable to voice them. Those who knew him never doubted his love for Jesus and for them. He is survived by his wife Maxine Fream Gash, daughters Joanne Lejeune and Nancy (Park) Harden, four grandchildren and many more stepchildren, grands, greats, and great-greats.
Funeral services have been scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at the Mason-Woodard chapel. Family will receive family and friends during a time of visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. prior to service time.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary and Crematory.