Charles Rene Mahank beloved father and grandfather, age 83 of Mishawaka passed away peacefully Thursday August 18, 2023, surrounded by loved ones.
He was born in Mishawaka, Indiana on October 4, 1939 to the late Madeline (DeBruyne) and Charles A. Mahank. He was the first grandchild and grandson born of his generation. The excitement and pride coming from The West End was palpable!
On August 4, 1962 in St. Matthew’s Cathedral, “Chas” married Peggy Boxwell. They were able to celebrate 60 years of a rich life together before she passed away last year. He is survived by his sister Elaine (Mahank) Holmes, brother in-law Larry Holmes, and sister in-law Josephine (Cliff – deceased) Witkowski.
Also surviving are his beloved children Tracy (Howard) Meltzer, Robert Mahank, Pamela (Tony) Brown, and Michele (Bill) Taylor. He is also survived by his many loving grandchildren: Lauren & Stephanie Meltzer, Audrey, Chris, & Joe Mahank; Samantha, Mya (David Vandiver), & Kayla Brown; Aaron & Caden Taylor. “Chuckie” has numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins whom he dearly loved.
“Chuck” was a graduate of Mishawaka High School where he excelled on the football field, was a member of a Jacket Club called The Dukes, and was a member of a bowling league. He worked on his grandparents’ farm, eventually taking a job as a meat cutter at Ernie’s Grocery Store. After high school he served in the US Army Reserves where he obtained the rank of Specialist 4 (E-4).
“Charlie” joined the South Bend Police Department in 1965 retiring in 1988 as Captain Mahank, a detective in the Homicide Bureau. He was honored as “Outstanding City Policeman of the Year” in 1984. He served as President of F.O.P. Lodge #36 coordinating corn & sausage roasts, conventions, and other activities. While working as a full time policeman, “Chuckie” had the opportunity to move to the family farm, becoming the 3rd generation to farm. Eventually “his boy” and right hand man, Bob, joined the family farming business forming R.D. Farms (Rene’s Dream) making Bob the 4th generation farmer. “Chuck” officially retired from the farming business at age 75, however, you would often see him doing chores, baling hay, or driving a combine to assist bringing in the harvest long after his retirement.
Highlights of his retirement were wintering in Florida, spending time with his family & many friends, attending all of his grandchildren’s events (choir concerts, musicals, band concerts, sporting events, and school events), and was a supporter of the local 4-H animal club.
He was a simple man who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life: playing cards, fishing, Tuesday Club, entertaining, crop watching, Sunday suppers, sitting on the porch after a hard days’ work drinking a beer, and despite 2 left feet, music and dancing. He was proud of his Belgian heritage supporting the BK Club as a lifetime member. “I’ll tell you what Jack,” he was well known for his ability to tell a great story and his sense of humor.
He was a faithful, hard-working, trustworthy, great friend, and family man. Whether you called him Charles, Chas, Chuck, Chuckie, Charlie…….His favorite name to be called was GRANDPA!
Friends may visit with the family in Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka, from 6-8pm on Wednesday, August 23rd. A Funeral Mass for Charles will be held at St. Bavo’s Church, 511 W 7th St, Mishawaka, on Thursday, August 24th, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to organizations he supported: “Santa’s Elf’s Officers” (through the South Bend FOP Lodge #36), The BK Club of Mishawaka, Hospice organizations, or your local food pantry.