Memorial services for Charles Glen Germany, 76, of Rayville, LA, were held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, August 11, 2023, at Rayville Methodist Church with Brother Aaron Carpenter and Brother Jeff Thomas officiating. Interment followed in Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Rayville, LA, under the direction of Brown-Holley Funeral Home, Rayville, LA. A memorial visitation will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2023, from 5-7 P.M., in the Family Life Center of Rayville Methodist Church.
Charles was born July 15, 1947 in Vernon, TX to Marlin and Ruth Germany. He passed away, Saturday, August 5, 2023, at his home, surrounded by his family.
Charles was one of nine children and was just 4 years old when he lost his mother to pancreatic cancer. His father was a sharecropper, and his family moved often. Finding themselves on hard times, Charles’s father and his older brother Raymond made the difficult decision to place Charles and one of his other brothers in the care of two different families. At the time, Charles was 11 years old and they were living in Holly Ridge, La. The Johnson family—Lester and Johnile—became Charles’s guardians, and he gained a brother and lifelong friend, Lester Wayne Johnson.
Charles talked about the first night he stayed with the Johnson family, recalling fondly that Mrs. Johnile decided he would call her “Mama” and Mr. Lester “Daddy.” The Johnsons provided a loving and nurturing home that Charles needed to excel in school and athletics. He became a lifelong reader, and had read all the classics. While attending Rayville High School, he discovered his love for basketball, following in his older brothers Raymond and Marlin Ray Germany’s footsteps. Charles met the love of his life Jean Ellington in sixth grade. She was his very first girlfriend, and he was attracted to her athletic abilities, as she also was a great basketball player. They would later split up after prom, and attended different colleges.
After graduation from high school, Charles attended LSU to pursue a degree in education. He, alongside his brother Lester Wayne, joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. During his time at LSU, Charles was in the ROTC, and thus began his long service in the military. He was named as a distinguished military graduate from LSU. Though he was never deployed in combat, he served two years as active duty and over 20 years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Charles received his Master of Education in Supervision and Administration from NLU. He taught and coached boys' and girls’ basketball in Holly Ridge, LA; Start, LA; and later at Riverfield Academy, in Rayville, LA, where he had many fond memories. While coaching at Riverfield, he had the opportunity to coach his daughter and granddaughter. His efficiency and his management skills then landed him a job as the municipal clerk and tax collector of Rayville, LA where he served for 22 years, most of that time alongside his special friend, Mayor Joe Kalil. He held many offices during his time with the Louisiana Municipal Clerks Association, including president. He also served as an executive board member and was certified as a Master Municipal Clerk. During that time, he and Jean rekindled their relationship, and they were married in 1987. Charles always felt they were meant for each other. He was an active member of the Rayville United Methodist Church and served as Lay Speaker, following the lead from his father, Lester Johnson. He was also a choir member, and served as chairman of several church committees throughout the years. Charles was a faithful man of God, and he preached many sermons, spoke at funerals, and taught many Sunday school classes. Charles was also an active member of the Rayville community. He was appointed as the president of the first Southern Pickin’ and Ginnin’ festival. For a time, he served as the secretary of the Richland Parish tax commission and was a notary public. Charles was a member of the American Legion, and proudly served as Master of Ceremonies for the Memorial Day Services at the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery for several years.
His greatest joy in life was his family. He never missed a moment to tell a stranger about one of the great things that one of his children, or grandchildren had accomplished. He was incredibly proud of the lives they had all built. He taught his children and grandchildren many valuable lessons that they will always carry with them. Charles also had many friends. In his later years he enjoyed traveling to Canton, TX with his friend Bobby Calvert. He always liked to be on time, or better yet, early to anything he was attending. He had a saying “I may not always be right, but I’m never wrong.” He loved the game of basketball like no other, and he was always looking for a new recruit to mentor. He was an avid LSU fan, and he was ecstatic to see 2 LSU national championships in his final year of life. He took great pride in all of his plants and kept his yard looking pristine. In fact, in his final days, he was still giving orders on how to maintain the yard.
He fought his 9-month battle with pancreatic cancer bravely and rarely complained. In dealing with his illness, and knowing it was terminal, his family had a unique opportunity to let him know how very much he was loved. Charles was a devoted husband, a loving father, grandfather, brother, and a friend to many. He will be missed beyond measure, but as he said before he died, “I am not afraid,” for he was certain where he was going. Charles is now resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father, fully healed, in paradise.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Marlin Hall and Ruth Perkins Germany and Lester and Johnile Curry Johnson; three sisters, Patsy Ruth Germany, Ila Mae Studdard, and Frances Owen; five brothers, John Albert (JA) Germany, Kelly Germany, Lester Germany, Marlin Germany, and Raymond Germany. Charles is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Jean Germany; children, Dr. Chris Germany and wife, Dr. Robyn Germany of Denham Springs, LA, Dana Germany Ware and husband Dr. David Ware of Opelousas, LA, Justin Germany and wife, Julie of Alexandria, VA, Dr. Molly Thomas and husband, James of Lafayette, LA, Alicia Glover and husband, Tim of Monroe, LA, and Chris Thomas and wife, Brandi of Rayville, LA; grandchildren, Madison Thomas, Madeline Thomas, Sarah Germany, Victoria Germany, Cooper Ware, Anna Ware, and Mairin Thomas; brother, Dr. Lester Wayne Johnson and wife Meme of Rayville, LA; sisters-in-law, Mary Germany of Athens, TX, Nelda Germany of Haughton, LA, and Donna Germany of Evans, GA, Linda Kay Walker of Shreveport, LA, Mary Jo Greaves and husband, Lanny of Hammond, LA; brother-in-law, Jay Ellington and wife, Kathy of Chester, VA; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Honorary pallbearers were Bobby Calvert, J.L. Harrell, Hoytt Sims, Kelly Evans, Dr. Doug Cook, John Mulhern, Lonnie Walters, Cooper Cochran, Terry Copeland, Benny Walker, and Bud Copeland.
Charles’s family would like to extend special thanks to all of the friends who sent food to the house during his illness, as well as special messages and prayers. The family would also like to give special thanks to Dr. Kyle Bruyninckx and his office staff, as well as the special nurses from Crossroads Hospice.
Memorial donations can be made to Rayville Methodist Church.