Charles L. McColm, 87, passed away early Wednesday morning, April 28, 2021 at his home in rural Columbus. He was the first-born son of Guy F. and Geraldine (Grandle) McColm. He was born on June 5, 1933, 3 miles north of the Gay Parita. His first four years of school were at West Mineral. Charles lived with his Grandpa Grandle for one year helping him with daily chores and attending Monmouth School. He then went to rural Mt. Pleasant School and in 1951 graduated from McCune Rural High School. From the age of 10 to 17 he worked for Jack McWilliams, Clint Hickman, and Paul Flaharty local farmers.
In July 1953, he went into the U.S. Army. He was proud to serve as a member of the Second Indianhead Division. He served in Korea and Hawaii and was discharged on June 8, 1955. After returning to the United States he worked the wheat harvest in Colorado, Nebraska, and western Kansas.
On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1956 he married Margaret McGown, in the United Chapel Church, of rural McCune, Kansas. Two daughters were born to this union, Athena and Anita.
Mr. McColm was a graduate of Parsons Jr. College. Charles and his family moved to Columbus in 1957. He worked for several different tractor implement companies in the Columbus area.
He also worked for the Parsons Ammunition Plant for 3 years and then drove a dozer for P&M Coal Co. at Asbury for 20 years. After retiring, he started farming on ground east of Columbus.
He was a member and officer of many different groups. He joined the American Legion in 1963 and held a lifetime membership. He served as commander two times and held several other offices. Charles was also a life member of the VFW and 40/8. He held memberships in the Second Indianhead Division, charter and founding member of the Columbus Saddle Club, Old Iron Club in Fredonia, Columbus Livestock Association, and the United Methodist Church serving as head usher and on several committees. For 52 years he was a member of the United Mine Workers of America.
Charles kept busy collecting and restoring antique tractors, pedal tractors and lawn mowers. This was his passion for over 38 years. Charles and his wife Margaret put on antique tractor pulls and for 28 years put on kiddie tractor pulls at county fairs in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma with the miniature sled they designed and built.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Anita McColm, two sisters Charlene Wilson, and Helen Wagner, and one brother Floyd McColm. He is survived by his wife of the home, daughter Athena McColm, Columbus, one older sister Charlotte Forth, Weir, two younger brothers Karl McColm, Girard, and Eugene McColm, Wichita along with several nieces, nephews, and many longtime friends.
A celebration of life will be conducted on Monday, May 3 at 1:00 PM at Brenner Mortuary, Pittsburg. Ron Johnson will officiate. Burial will take place following the service at the Park Cemetery in Columbus. Visitation with family members will take place on Sunday, May 2, at Brenner Mortuary from 2:00-4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to the American Legion Keith Reeves Post #3 of Columbus. Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg, KS.
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