Charles M. “Charlie” Mears

Charles M. “Charlie” Mears

FITCHBURG – Charles M. “Charlie” Mears, age 84 died peacefully on Monday, July 23, 2012 at St. Mary’s Hospital after a long battle with heart disease and kidney failure.

Charlie was born December 9, 1927, in Hillpoint, WI, the son of Thomas and Stella Mears. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Virginia “Ginny” Mears, of nearly 48 years, both parents, and his seven brothers and sisters: Irene (Haas), Anna (Slauson), Stella (Apker), Jack, Tom, Michael, and Eugene.

He leaves behind his three sons, Mark (DeDe) of Verona, WI, Todd (Angie) of Belleville, MI, and Cory (Brenda) of Oregon, WI; along with his five grandchildren: Marissa, Alena, Davis, Parker, and Cooper.

Charlie enlisted in the United States Army during World War II serving in occupied Germany. It was there that he was asked to join the army band and played trumpet, among other instruments, for the remainder of his military service. Charlie worked as a Sheet Metal Worker for the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 39 years and repaired the roofs of every building on campus by the time of his retirement in 1990. He was also an advocate for the handicapped, volunteering his time with the Happy Hours handicap club and serving on the board of the Easter Seals of Dane County. He was very active with his church, the former St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on the West Beltline Hwy, where he served on the church council, taught catechism classes, was a lector at mass, and loved participating in the choir. His real passion, however, was his music and entertaining. He performed with the Zor Shrine Band, the VFW Band (where he was the last of the original members), and the Francis McMahan band, which entertained in nursing care facilities all over Dane County. He serenaded U.S. Presidents as well as American and foreign dignitaries. He also performed with his own musical groups under names like the Goldendaires, The Strollers, and the Charlie Mears Band. He especially enjoyed leading his most recent band, the Avenue Sizzlers, which was a fixture at the Avenue Bar for seventeen years.

The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, caregivers, and medical technicians who cared for Charlie during the past several years at St. Mary’s Hospital, Dean Clinic, and in his home. We were truly blessed to have you in his life.

A Mass of CHRISTIAN BURIAL will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 27, 2012, at GOOD SHEPHERD CATHOLIC PARISH AT ST. JOSEPH CHURCH, 1905 W. Beltline Hwy, Madison, with Msgr. Tom Baxter presiding. A visitation will precede the mass at 10:00 a.m. Family and friends may call from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, 2012, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider donating blood to the American Red Cross or monetary donations on behalf of Charlie to a charity of your choice.