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Charles R. Gartrell - August 18, 2010


Charles Raymond Gartrell was born on Aug. 16, 1911 at Somerset, Neb. He was the fifth of six sons born to Arthur and Ethel Griffiths Gartrell. He was baptized into the Lutheran faith as an infant. Raymond grew up in the Dickens, Neb. community where he attended District #61 rural school. Raymond worked for area ranchers in the Dickens area until he moved to Oklahoma in 1940 where he worked as a ranch hand.
In March of 1942, Raymond was inducted into the United States Army. He served with the army until his honorable discharge in 1945. Much of his time was spent on shore patrol with dogs in the Aleutian Islands. He later served as a rifle instructor back in the states teaching new recruits shooting skills.
After his return to the area, he joined the Wallace, Neb. American Legion and was the oldest surviving member at his death.
Raymond was married to Agnes Haugland on Dec. 20, 1945 at Ogallala, Neb. Four children were born to this union. They lived on ranches in the Dickens area until moving to the Wallace community in 1966. While living in Wallace, Raymond opened graves at the cemetery for several years.
Raymond loved his family and friends and the cowboy way of life. Friends and family were very important to him and he never said an unkind word about anyone. Material things were not important to him and his children often joked that if they gave him money for his birthday he would spend it on his horse or dog.
Raymond was looking forward to celebrating his 99th birthday last Monday. He broke his hip last weekend and was transferred to the Golden Ours Convalescent Home in Grant, Neb.
Raymond celebrated his birthday with his family and doctor present at his bedside. Later, Raymond told his family it was time for him to go back home to Dickens. He died peacefully at Golden Ours Wednesday morning, Aug. 18, 2010 at the age of 99.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers, Harry, Bill, Harvey, Ernie and Russ and one sister, Hazel.
Raymond is survived by his faithful and loving wife of nearly 65 years, Agnes; two daughters, Beverly and husband Kenneth Gibson of Geneva, Neb. and Diane and husband Rick Bryant of Wallace; two sons, Jim and wife Mitzi Gartrell of rural Wallace and Bruce and wife Diana Gartrell of Columbus, Neb.; 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Aug. 21, at Wallace United Methodist Church with Pastor Mary Fuller officiating.
Burial was in the Dickens Cemetery with a military tribute by the Wallace American Legion.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home of Grant was in charge of arrangements.