Charles Daniel Halfaker, Jr.
Charlie when he was about 17 years old--circa 1928
Charles Daniel Halfaker was born on December 5, 1911. His parents were Charles Daniel and Louise Marie King Halfaker. He was born and spent his entire life in Bourbon, Crawford Co., Missouri.
Charlie dropped out of high school with only about two weeks left 'til graduation, but went on to become one of the smartest people I have ever known. He used to help me with my homework--even when no one else could. He read all sorts of books as his interests were varied, but I remember that he was especially learned in Geography and mathematics.
He was only six years old when his mother died and this forced him to grow up sooner than any child should have to. He studied the bible from an early age and really taught his children to love the WORD. He could preach and had a beautiful singing voice!! "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,"Did he ever!!!
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Grandpa (very serious) circa 1940
He worked for his father at the store where they sold furniture. L.D. Halfaker owned a General Store where he also worked. He really learned to take care of himself at an early age. He was a very loving and caring person, not just to his family. He genuinely cared about others. Many times he would find work for people during the Great Depression so that they could make enough money to feed their families.
Grandpa circa 1945>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
When he was very young he met Alma Lillian Jones at a Church meeting and they fell in love. She was only 14 years old when they met and he was a rambunctious teenager, but something about Alma made him want to settle down.
Grandpa had a very 'relaxed' personality, he was an attentive father to his children and had so much patience with his grandchildren. He had nicknames for all of the grand kids, mine was "Deedle-Bug. I got a pinching bug stuck on my toe one summer night when I was about three years old and screamed my head off..until my Dad removed it. The name stuck! Grandpa never yelled at me, he always spoke calmly. When he became really upset (which rarely happened) he would just flash those big "black" eyes at you and immediately got your attention.
<<<Charlie and Alma circa1950
Charles and Alma married on January 24, 1932 and would spend 47 glorious years together. They had the deepest and most abiding love that I have ever experienced and they were just "kids" when they met. Charles and Alma had the following children:
Dwight Herman Halfaker
Patricia Eloise Halfaker
Janice Charlotte Halfaker
Charles Donald Halfaker
Terry Douglas Halfaker
Charles had many jobs as a young man, but he was most prosperous when he sold "scrap" or "junk." He was definitely an entrepreneur as he may have been the first true "recycler." See, Charlie knew that people needed to buy parts to fix their belongings as most people couldn't afford to buy NEW things in those days. When something broke they fixed it and that is where Gramp came in. He bought scrap from people and then when someone needed a 1938 Plymouth motor--Grandpa sold it and made a profit!!
Bourbon was a small town and everyone knew where Halfaker's Junk Yard was and even as a teenager, I was never ashamed that my family was in the "scrap" business. Sometimes, cute boys at school would come up and ask me if I thought my Grandpa might have this car part they were looking for and believe me...I didn't mind the attention!!
The Halfaker house was always filled with lots of kids and grand kids. We had Sunday dinner there almost every week while I was growing up. Grandpa would tell stories and we would all listen in awe. He always talked to me as though I was a very intelligent person, not like some grandparents who might think of you "only as a child." One day, I was upset and crying over my dog dying and he said to me, "Deedle, you are tender-hearted...just like your dad and that is ok. It is good to cry!" This made me feel better!! I liked being like my dad and I appreciated him allowing me to express my feelings.
<<<<<Charlie 1965-Very healthy!!
During these years, Grandpa was a very healthy man. Then, in 1975 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and his whole world changed. He went from having lots of "projects" to barely having the strength to get out of bed in the morning, but he managed until he developed cancer in his brain. He struggled for a long time with radiation therapy for the Hodgkin's, but the brain tumor had spread and he died the day before Christmas, 1977. I had a dream shortly after he died that he was walking away from me and I called to him. When I finally got his attention--he looked at me and said, "Deedle, I MUST go, but I will see you again....I promise!" I have a lot of faith in the hereafter. I DO believe that I will see and hug him again and even though I hated that nickname at times, I hope to hear him say it again!!