Celebrating the life of The Rev. Dr. Charles L. Heuser
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Obituary for The Rev. Dr. Charles L. Heuser
Charles L. Heuser was born on December 21, 1920 in Dedham, Massachusetts to William F. and Hannah J. Heuser. He attended public grade school in Dedham and went to Boston Trade School for High School. He graduated from the plumbing department and worked the summer as a plumber’s helper. In the fall, he entered Gordon College of Theology and Missions in Boston and graduated in 1943. Charles attended Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut and graduated in 1945 having completed a three year course in two years, working nights as a juvenile court officer, then in a funeral home. When he tried to enlist for military duty, the war was winding down so they said they no longer required his services. Charles married Gertrude in 1946. After graduation, he took his first ministry job in Fryeburg, Maine. He was pastor there for three years. Rev. Charles Heuser served on the Board of Directors for the Congregational Conference of Maine and was the Director of their youth camp for a week each summer. From Maine, Charles became a Missionary/Educator on the Atoll of Truk in the South Pacific. He was a teaching principal of the High School and superintendent of 52 churches. The four year term stretched into five in order to graduate the first class from the High School. He returned to the states and accepted a call to a small church of 246 members in Hopkins, Minnesota. Charles served on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Conference, and directed a youth camp each summer. After 13 years as Pastor, two building programs, moving the church to a new location, the membership now stood at 1,300. Charles ran for and was elected to the Hopkins City Council for a four year term. Charles accepted a call to the Country Club Congregational Church in Kansas City, Missouri. The church grew, the building was renovated and a new addition added. He was elected to serve on the Missouri Conference Board of Directors. He attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City and received a degree in Counseling. He was honored with a Doctor of Divinity degree by Drury College. After 10 years as Senior Pastor he accepted a call to the Neighborhood Church in Palos Verdes Estates, California. There he founded the Sea Cliff Memorial. He served as the Chaplain for the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department. Charles was elected to the California Board of Directors and the Board of Governors for the Board of World Ministries. A history book of the neighborhood Church was published in 2003 and listed the interesting and creative ways he led this split church with a poor giving record to a united growing congregation with the highest giving record of all the Congregational Churches in Southern California. After 12 years as Senior Pastor he retired. Two years after retirement Charles married Janis and they moved to Gold Beach, Oregon where they have resided since 1988. Charles remained active in the ministry through preaching, funerals and weddings. He started and brought the Port of Gold beach Memorial to reality. He served as Worshipful Master for three consecutive years plus two additional years. He received his 50 year pin in 1997. He was a 32nd Degree Mason. He was the president of the Humbug Mountain Shrine Club for three years. He began the appreciation luncheon for the school teachers at the years end and “Soles for Little Souls” program. He served as a member of the Curry District Health Council and the Budget Committee for Curry General Hospital. He was a member of the Master Food Preservers and the Master Gardeners. Charles was preceded in death by his father, mother, brothers Bill and Al, and his sister Mary Charles is survived by his wife, Dr. Janis, son Charles (Liz), grand daughters Lara (Peter) Kimball, great grand daughters Sophia and Ariana, and great grandson Alex, grand daughter Sarah and grand daughter Samantha of Minnesota, son Douglas (Martha), grand daughters Lindsay and Heather of New Hampshire, son Stephen (Melissa) and grand daughters Christine and Stephanie, and daughter Patt Heuser of Portland, Oregon. A celebration of Charles’ life will be held on Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Gold Beach.