Charles Calvin Kayl
Charles Calvin Kayl was born to Frances (Kreber) and Charles H. Kayl on July 29, 1925. He attended country school part time and rode horse to Saint Joseph Catholic School to make his first communion. His family moved south of Gregory, and he rode with the neighbors to Catholic school. After grade school he left home and got a job at Elk Point, where he had relatives. Chuck would hand pick corn for five cents a bushel, picking 80 bushel a day. When World War II broke out, he had turned 17 in July. His parents signed so he could join the Navy because his father had told him about mud in the fox holes in World War I.
Chuck went from boot camp at Great Lakes Training Center to Signalman school in Urbana, IL. He was sent to Treasure Island in California and from there to Pearl Harbor. When the ship he was on crossed the Equator he became a Shellback which happened on his mother’s birthday. Then he boarded the USS Case on the way to New Caledonia. He spent 33 months on the USS Case (Tin Can) that was involved in the bombardment of Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, and Ulithi, where the ship cut a Japanese sub in half and the screw on the bottom of the destroyer was damaged, then they went to dry dock. Then the war was over, and they were ordered to go to New York City for Navy Days, and they went through the Panama Canal to get there. The captain asked Chuck to make the home coming flag which he sewed, it was 337 feet long. It was flown as they came into the harbor of New York City, where he was discharged. Chuck returned to Gregory, where he engaged in farming and ranching.
Chuck met Elizabeth Jean Petersen in March of 1946. They married on June 3, 1947. Seven children were born to them. They lived two miles east and two miles south of Gregory for 13 years, and then bought the old Petrik farm six miles south of the drive-in theatre where they lived the rest of his life. He worked with cattle, sheep and hogs. His passions were Black Angus cattle and arrow straight rows of corn. Chuck also did a lot of custom farm work.
His father paid for his dues in the American Legion starting 1945 until 1960 when his father passed away. He continued to be a member for 75 years. Chuck helped with the color guard duties until his heart attack in 2002. Chuck joined the Knights of Columbus early 1954. He became a life member of the Winner VFW in 1969. He also served on the township board and the school board.
After the loss of son Mike on New Year’s Eve 1976, (delivering fuel for Cenex) Chuck started to drink heavily and went to treatment in Riverpark. He joined AA where he was a member for 40 years and made many special friends.
In his later years, Chuck and Jean traveled to Arizona for eleven years. He loved playing pinochle at the Senior Citizens Center and riding his four-wheeler at home.
Chuck had a heart attack in 2002, and a cavitatious infection in his lung, and needed oxygen from then on. Chuck was thankful for the many home health providers especially Andrea Tuley, Heather Fox and Sloane Weber. Chuck passed away on October 14, 2019, at Avera Gregory Hospital at the age of 94 years.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Frances Kayl, sons Michael and Joe, grandsons Travis Kainz and Eric Kayl, and great grandson Zack Nicks, three sisters Evelyn Albers, Maxine Meyers, and Mary Lou Putnam, sons-in-law Dean Kainz and Carl Geigle, and daughter-in-law, Jean Marie Kayl.
He is survived by wife Jean (Chicken); five children Margie Kainz, Mariane Bromwich, Dan (Judy) Kayl, Patti (Ray) Greenseth, and Larry (Robin) Kayl; one brother Kenneth (Winnie) Kayl; daughter-in-law Roseanne Kayl; special family Brenda Drefs and friend Larry, Vicky Drefs, Mathew (Katie) Drefs, Jonathan (Brooke) Drefs; grandchildren Chris Kayl (Teri), Lori Cowins (Corey), Dawn Murray (Pete), Renee Nicks, Andy Kainz (Leah), Wade Bromwich (Julie), Wendy Bromwich, Ben Kayl (Michelle), Josh Kayl (Jamie), Sarah McCoy (Michael), Tony Kayl, Kodi Hoffarth (Patton), Hope Geigle, Jacob Geigle (Trista), Colleen Greenseth, Courtney Barber (William), Lindsey Romine (Chris), Jerred Kayl, Bryan Kayl (Wendy), Renita Herrington (Scott), and Charlie Kayl, many great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.