Dr. Charles Lowell Stinchcomb, 70, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Monday morning, August 15, 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer at his home with his family by his side.
Charles was born January 24, 1946 in Marion County, Kansas to Charles F. and Rosalene (Higgins) Stinchcomb. On June 12, 1966, he was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Barbara Ann Weber, and together they had two children, Angela and Jason.
Charles served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve from 1964 until 1985. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School, Ft. Sill. Attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth. He was deployed to Vietnam and received the Bronze Star. He was a life member of the V.F.W. Post #6240 and the American Legion William Roe Post.
Charles was the first person in his family to go to college and graduated from Kansas State University in 1975 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He moved his family to Russell in 1976, and together with his wife Barbara, opened Town and Country Animal Hospital.
For more than 30 years, Charles served as a beloved country veterinarian who cared for both small and large animals. He traveled country roads in inclement weather and was always available after hours to help animals in need, offering compassion and comfort to their owners too. Along the way, he developed strong friendships with those who admired his integrity, hard work and kindness.
Charles was a natural leader with a strong desire to make a difference in Russell and his profession. He served as the co-chairman of the 2001 Prairiesta and helped found the Sunrise Kiwanis Club. He was active in St. John Lutheran Church, a member of the USD 407 Board of Education, and Russell County Citizen of the Year. Charles was appointed in 1998 to the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners by Gov. Bill Graves. He was a pioneer in the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA) and elected president in 2005 and 2006. He was honored as Kansas Veterinarian of the Year and received the KVMA’s lifetime achievement award. He was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Charles enjoyed flying and had a private pilot’s license. He liked to fly his airplane simply for the pleasure of soaring through the sky and often would fly across Wilson Lake to enjoy the view. He served as President of the Russell Airport Advisory Board.
Charles took special delight helping children. For 13 years, he helped coach summer recreational baseball. In the 1980’s, he coached his son Jason and other young boys on the Shields baseball team to an undefeated season. He was a Boy Scout Master, Cub Scout Master, and led a trip of young leaders to Philmont Scout Camp. He was very proud that his son would later become an Eagle Scout. Charles also served as the Russell County 4-H Veterinary Science Leader. Throughout his life, he mentored numerous young adults who would later go on to become veterinarians and veterinary assistants in their own right.
Recently, Charles began writing charming children’s books that imparted lessons about living an exemplary life. The books featured his grandchildren as the main characters and were illustrated by young artists. They include a Tale about Santa, the Reindeer and Christmas, The Great Frog Race, the Daring Rescue of the Pirate Princess, and Field Manual for Success. He enjoyed dressing up as Santa Claus at Christmastime and amusing children with his stories.
In his later years, Charles enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow. He proudly watched soccer, baseball and basketball games, and quietly coached kids on things they might do better. He enjoyed teaching his grandchildren about the great outdoors, how to hunt for frogs, the art of fishing, and the magic of the wild world around them. He instilled in them his secret to being successful which was to live your life by the Three D’s – Desire, Dedication and Determination.
He left this world a person who touched many lives and who will be remembered for his generosity, kindness, and leadership. In his final days, he shared that he always strove to live by the words of Sister Mary Rose McGeady, “There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”
Surviving family include his wife of 50 years, Barbara of the home; daughter, Angela Muller (Kai) of Russell, Kansas; son, Lt. Col. Jason Stinchcomb (Tricia) of Carrollton, Virginia; four grandchildren, Diego, Edwin, Jenna and Charles H.; father, Charles F. Stinchcomb of Marion, Kansas; sister Sue Mueller (Richard) of Mentor, Kansas; brothers, Blaine Stinchcomb of Marion, Kansas and Mike Stinchcomb (Emma) of Solomon, Kansas; and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother; sister Charlene and brother Robert.
Celebration of Dr. Charles L. Stinchcomb’s Life will be held at 10:30 AM Thursday, August 18, 2016 at St. John Lutheran Church of Russell. Military Rites will be conducted by the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 Honor Guard. A private family burial of ashes will take place at Claney Cemetery in Marion, Kansas. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The family request Memorial donations to be made to Dr. Charles and Barbara Stinchcomb Fund at the Russell County Area Community Foundation. Condolences and contributions may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.