Charles Joseph Mader, 80, of Cottonwood, Idaho, surrounded by loved ones headed off to heaven’s greener pastures, where he looked forward to being with his family, friends and those who have gone before him.
Charles (Chuck) was born to Steve and Elnora (Enneking) Mader on July 19, 1939 and was raised on a ranch located on the Salmon River Breaks near Keuterville, Idaho, along with his older sister, Luella and brother, Melvin. His grandparents on both the Mader and Enneking sides had homesteaded in the area and it was natural for Charles to inherit their love of the land, as well as learn the meaning of hard work and discipline. He attended school walking or riding horse with his siblings to the Timber School where his mother taught all eight grades. Charles excelled in school and sports, earning a basketball scholarship to Gonzaga upon his graduation from St. Gertrude’s Academy.
In 1957, Charles left home to attend College at Gonzaga where he majored in education with minors in history and philosophy. After college Charles returned to Keuterville, continuing his ranching career, teaching and coaching at St. Gertrude’s Academy. The next year he accepted a one-year teaching/coaching position at Gonzaga Prep. Returning home in 1963 he continued teaching at the Academy and raising cattle on the breaks of the Salmon River. Through his years, he touched and helped shape the lives of many young adults in his coaching, history and government classes. He would strive to instill respect and responsibility to God, family, community and country in the hearts and minds of students. If there ever was a man who believed in the Constitution and the rights given to the people by the Founding Fathers, it was “Mr. Mader.” One of his proudest moments was in 1970, the last year of St. Gertrude’s Academy, when he coached his basketball team to win the state championship.
In 1989, after years of teaching and coaching, Charles retired and returned to ranch life, not only working with his own cattle, but also accepting a position at the Cottonwood Sales Yard.
Charles married the love of his life, Elizabeth Hoene, in 1984. Chuck has no children of his own; however, he was surrounded by many nieces, nephews and past students who came to him for “fatherly” advice and guidance. “Uncle” Chuck helped them with many aspects and aspirations in their lives. These same nieces and nephews appreciated and respected him. Charles was an active man and always there to help out or educate those who came to him, not only in ranching or sports, but also in his Catholic faith, current or past government topics, or the basics of how to set goals and work to achieve them and “pick rocks”. Charles enjoyed his time on the ranch, or on horseback trips, family gatherings and at the sales yard. He greatly valued his faith and was a lifetime member of the Catholic Church.
Charles not only helped nieces and nephews, but assisted with school projects and the 4-H Program. He spent more than 20 years working on the Idaho County 4-H Livestock Sale, where he solicited funds to buy 4-H animals from kids who might not be fortunate enough to have relatives with “deep pockets.” This was hard, but rewarding work and it made him happy to know that in some small way he just might have helped a youngster succeed. Chuck was honored to be the Grand Marshall of the fair in 2009.
Charles is survived by his wife, Betty, sister, Luella (Alfred) McCulley, numerous nieces and nephews and several in-laws and out-laws. Funeral services will be Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, with the Rosary starting at 9:30, followed by Mass at 10, with burial following at the Cottonwood Cemetery.