Charles Duwayne Reedstrom
Charles Duwayne Reedstrom, the oldest living Reedstrom at 98-3/4 years old, went to join his Savior, the Lord, February 10th 2021, from his home in East Texas. It was a beautiful busy day as he worked on his computer and in his workshop making wooden firecrackers for his anticipated birthday on the 4th of July. He was born in Mankato, Minnesota the 4th of July, 1922. The most patriotic WWII veteran that loved his country, his flag and Jesus Christ. “Mr. Charles”, as many east Texans called him, enlisted with the United States Navy in 1942 and served in the South Pacific on the USS President Monroe, an attack transport. He was a Quarter Master, 3rd Class. Serving during WWII his battle station was on the bridge at the wheel of the ship. Touring with dad around the United States he would tell us stories of the olden days, his life and his beloved time spent in the Navy. His favorite story was how the Japanese kamikaze pilots would always try to put the ship out of commission by firing at his station, the wheel of the ship. Luckily, he was never hit, albeit it close on multiple occasions! The Captain of the ship saw so much potential in “Duwayne” as he was called in his youth, he sent him from the ship after the battle of Tarawa to officer candidate training. However, the war ended and Duwayne decided not to return to the Navy. It was always evident however that the Navy years were the best years of his life!
Shortly after the end of the war, he was recruited by Humble Oil & Refining Company and moved to Houston, Texas. Charles graduated from the University of Texas with honors and again from the University of Houston with a Masters and hours toward a doctorate.
At Humble Oil, he was part of the team that installed the first large scale computer in an oil company. The first day on the job, Charles met his fun-loving wife, Lemoine, and was married for 68-1/2 years. Taking early retirement from Humble at age 52, his entrepreneurial spirit took over and he started multiple family businesses; Computer Assistants; Compass Micromation and Compass Information. During the many years that he and his wife had the corporations, Charles employed thousands of people in multiple state offices all over the United States. He used to say “we have a United Nations of employees” because they came from all over the world.
In 1993 Charles and Lemoine visited the Wonderland of Lights in Marshall, Texas, fell in love with Marshall and decided to stay permanently. They purchased a historic home built in 1883 known as “The Columns” and began to renovate. Charles spent 15 years restoring it to its original beauty. In his spare time, he served 13 years on the Trustee Board for the First United Methodist Church of Marshall. He chaired the Board for six years and was instrumental in the study to either renovate, demolish or move the historic church. Restoration was decided by the congregation and Charles directed the first phase of the project. He acquainted himself with the historical significance of the church, researched much of the history and during the Christmas season gave tours of the church and it’s million-dollar-stained glass windows. He loved the church and the historical significance.
Charles loved working with his hands in his workshop and listening to his favorite Saturday night show, Lawrence Welk! Many of his incredible skills were learned as a child from his dad, Oscar, a master carpenter. Charles physically built the 4,500 sq ft home in Houston where he and Lemoine raised their family. He was a handy man to have around as he could do absolutely everything.
During the last 20 years of his life Charles was the accountant and bookkeeper for several of his daughter’s companies. He would not accept a paycheck but was paid with several new cars. The first Lincoln Navigator was hidden in the city of Marshall by his daughter. He and Lemoine had “treasure hunt” clues to locate the car.
Charles Duwayne was preceded in death by his wife, Lemoine Evelyn Wilbanks Reedstrom; his parents, Viola and Oscar Reedstrom, Marvin Reedstrom, his brother and Rev Dr Suzanne Cox-Reedstrom, his daughter-in-law. He is survived by his sister, Jean Sharp, his daughter, Suzanne Reedstrom Kreklow; his son Charles Dan Reedstrom; his two grandsons, Richard and Kirk Reedstrom; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was everyone’s “Dad” and has such a following of adopted daughters and sons. Our sweet dad was loved by many and will be truly missed. May he rest in peace as he makes his way to the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life will be held at First United Methodist Church of Marshall. Date and time to follow.