Charles Shoemaker, Sr.

Charles Jackson Shoemaker, Sr. 91, of Osseo, WI passed away peacefully Tuesday April 16. 2019, at his winter home in Zellwood, Florida, surrounded by members of his loving family.
He leaves behind his partner of 25 years, Karen Stein; his children Tom (Kathy), Marjorie (Bruce) Johnson, Suzanne (Alex) Garduno, Charles Jr. (Lori John); his siblings Joanne Shoemaker, Shirley Warner, Jim (Lorraine), and Don (Anne); brothers-in-law David Ihle and Foster Wright; ten grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great grandchildren and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Joyce (Foster); sisters Betty Wright, Marjorie Ihle, and Annabel Shoemaker; and brother-in-law Richard Warner.
Born and raised in Augusta, Wisconsin, the son of Roy and Gertrude (Kattestad) Shoemaker, Charlie learned at an early age to love the outdoors and the fishing and hunting it offered. In winter, he would be off early each morning to check trap lines before going to school. Toward the end of World War II, in 1945 Charlie, at the age of 17, enlisted in the military along with three classmates. Though they enlisted after the first semester of their senior year, they were awarded diplomas from Augusta High School when the rest of the class graduated that spring. Charlie served for four years in the United States Navy on the destroyer USS Warrington. Throughout the remainder of his life he took great pleasure in meeting and talking with other members of the military.
After his service to the country, Charlie returned to Wisconsin and settled in Milwaukee where he met and married Joyce Foster and together they raised their four children.
Charlie joined the Milwaukee Police Department in 1956, serving the public for 26 years until his retirement in 1982. During his tenure he used his skills as a scuba diver on the department’s underwater recovery team. After retiring he moved to Osseo where he lived with Joyce until her death in 1992.
In 1994, Charlie met Karen Stein and they remained partners for the last 25 years of his life, sharing snowbird winters in Florida.
Charlie had a passion and a talent for photography, working in his own dark room and creating an underwater camera case using plexiglass. Prints from his underwater photos were used in a display at the Milwaukee Historical Museum, and his remarkable photo of a snowy owl appeared in the Milwaukee Journal. Charlie also excelled at woodworking, creating furniture and beautiful wood carvings of shore birds.
Above all, Charlie was a patriot, loyal to his country, and also loyal to his friends.
Family and friends of Charlie are invited to a graveside memorial service at Hale Lutheran Cemetery at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 18, followed by a celebration of his life in fellowship at a luncheon at the Cabin in the Pines, Stoddard Park, Osseo beginning at 12:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Tin Can Sailors.


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