Ronald Lee Charles

Ronald Lee Charles

Ronald Lee Charles, 66, died at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

He was born on Feb. 10, 1954, at the family farm in “UBdam Holler” in Union County, the son of James E. and Bonnetta M. Goleaner Charles, one of five boys and two sisters.  

He was married on May 4, 1974, to Debra Ann Dover.

While attending Shawnee High School, he began his career as a journeyman bricklayer and specialist, a craft in which he worked for 42 years, and also as Charles Masonry.  

For 30 years, he and Debra owned and operated Trail of Tears Lodge, where many would come as strangers and leave as friends.  They also owned and operated the former Trail of Tears Junction in Anna. 

He was a certified outfitter, gun instructor and advanced open water scuba diver. He loved horseback riding, fishing, hunting, his Lincolns, vacationing and deep sea fishing in the Florida Keys. His best times were always with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Debra Ann Charles; their twin sons, Douglas Ray (wife Wendy L.) and Randal Dale (wife Heather D.) Charles; seven grandchildren, Triston Douglas Charles, Alexis Danielle Charles, Ashley Cheyenne (husband Jacob) Kelley, Katie Lynn Charles, Sierra Nicole Charles, Alaina Brooke Charles and Haleigh Dakota Charles; one great-grandchild, Faith Lynn Guzman; Debra’s parents, Alfred D. and Charlotte A. Dover; Ron’s brothers, James Junior (wife Nancy) Charles, Jerry Dean (wife Kathryn) Charles, Donald Eugene (wife Barbara)  Charles and David Wayne Charles; sisters Sharon Kay Phillips and Deborah Sue (husband Rick) Morgan; his cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends.  

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his great-grandson, Landon Tyler Sadler.  

Visitation for Ronald Lee Charles will be from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Valley Mission Cemetery. Graveside services will follow at 1:30 p.m., followed by a gathering at Valley Mission Church Community Center. 

Memorials can be made at the graveside or at the community center drop box.  

Crain Funeral Home in Anna-Jonesboro is in charge of arrangements.

To view the full obituary or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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