Family members gathered at Willow Tree Care Center this weekend to celebrate the 100th birthday of Charles Homedew.
He was born in Hugoton, Kan., March 28, 1916, the second of six children born to Samuel and Rosa Homedew. He was young when the family moved to Holly, where he went to school and helped with the family farm. After graduating from high school, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and was sent to the Western Slope. He fell in love with western Colorado, staying in the Mack/ Fruita area farming until he joined the Army on Dec. 4, 1941, just days before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was a communication specialist, spending most of World War II in France. He tells about a time when enemy troops surrounded them and they hid out in a barn in the countryside. During the day they hid in the stacks of hay and at night they came out to try and find food and water. They couldn't light a fire so they ate raw eggs and drank from the animal's trough until they could get to a safe place.
Homedew returned from the war to western Colorado, farming and working construction until his construction crew moved to southeastern Utah. There he met Barbara Peterson who worked as a waitress at the local café.They married in 1960 and he adopted her three children from a previous marriage. They added five more children to their family through the years, along with fostering Navajo children who lived with the family while attending school. Everyone learned to work, whether in the house or the garden. Life was filled with games and music, along with many camping trips.
Homedew continued working in construction for many years, then after an accident made it difficult to continue in his trade, he became a custodian. After retiring, he drove the senior citizen bus for many years in Blanding, Utah, before moving back to the Western Slope and making his home in Olathe. He shared his love of leatherwork and woodworking with the youth of Olathe. He also did craft fairs with his brother-in-law. He loved to travel and visit his children, driving from Colorado, through Utah, Wyoming, Oregon and California, before returning home.
His honesty, hard work and sense of humor continue to inspire his family.
He has one sister, Mary Frances (Robert) Mercer still living. His children are Nancy (Bill) Player, Rebecca (Kevin) Rocque, David (Pat) Homedew, Ruth (Craig) Heninger, Sam (Deanna) Homedew, Beth (Casey) Nielson, Rosamae (Tom) Dalebout (deceased) and Heidi (Dale) Brown. He has 30 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.