Reverand Charles T. Klinksick Inducted 1999 - Class of 1934

Reverend Charles Theodore Klinksick recently described St. Paul as a "good minister". He referenced scripture (1 Timothy 4:13) and summarized its theme to be "PREACH, TEACH, TO REACH EACH!" Charles has done just that in his ministry career and deserves our accolades tonight.

Charles was born on June 12, 1916, in Toledo, Ohio. He grew up at 1127 Huron Street in "Lower Town", as it was known in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Charles lived near the river and the old Pennsylvania Railroad Station. "The neighborhood was a mix of large old residential homes . . . smaller homes, rentals, and places of business, including houses of prostitution and numerous churches Lutheran, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Syrian (Lebanese) Orthodox."

Charles attended kindergarten for one-half year at Stickney School. He transferred to Lagrange School, where he completed kindergarten through eighth grade. Charles attended Waite High School his freshman year before transferring to Woodward, from which he graduated in 1934.

At Woodward, Charles' best friends were Jamile Jamera, among others. “After school I delivered the Toledo Blade daily to almost 200 customers and had very little time for close friendships beyond my home neighborhood." .With respect to childhood nicknames, Charles shares that he has been told that his mother wanted to name him Charles so he wouldn't have a nickname. But sometime through the years long ago, close friends have called me 'Chuck'. I'm stuck with Chuck."

Charles has expressed appreciation for the quality education he received at WHS "during the depths of the Great Depression." One of his favorite teachers was Marie Doering Ersig, who was also the journalism advisor. "My lifetime of writing is to her credit, for all that she taught and showed students like me how to think and produce in the English language. Philo Dunsmore, political science teacher taught me the basics of political people processes and parliamentary procedures. He gave me a good foundation for later learning." Charles credits history teacher Louise Tippet as one who had a profound effect on him. "She showed me the importance of national and world finance the day the United States went off the gold standard during the Depression. It was a major turning point that sharpened my financial awareness for the future."

Charles' memories of Woodward included being a cub reporter for the Tattler and later becoming Editor in 1933/34. He remembered attending the Senior Banquet with Class President Ruth Ramlow as his guest and being listed on the program as Tattler Editor. Also, one year, he was sent to the National Scholastic Press Association meetings in Cincinnati and Chicago. At the meeting in Cincinnati, Amelia Earhart was the guest speaker. Another unforgettable highlight of his high school years was a football game, which the Polar Bears won by a score of 102-0! "It was called a track meet." An unpleasant, yet indelible, memory was that of the "ranting" voice of Adolph Hitler, heard via short-wave radio in the auditorium. "The hookup was rigged up on short notice by one of the faculty members."

After graduation, Charles attended and did both undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toledo. He finished and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio in 1938. He next obtained a Master of Divinity Degree from Capital in 1942. He undertook further graduate studies at Chicago Theological (Congregational) Seminary and the University of Chicago. Additional educational pursuits were at the Ohio Consortium on Higher Education Religion Studies (CHERS), and Pontifical College Josephinum (1972-1976) leading to a Doctor of Ministry degree in contextual education (1976).

In 1943, Charles was ordained in Salem Lutheran Church (Toledo) into the ministry of the American Lutheran Church. He was called upon to found a Lutheran church in northwest Detroit, where he served for 12 years. From 1955-1962, he was pastor at University Lutheran Church at Michigan State University. In 1962, he became a senior minister in Clinton Heights Lutheran Church, Columbus, where he served for 16 years. In 1978, Charles was called to be the first pastor for the newly-merged Hope Lutheran Church, Hubbard Lake, from which he retired from full-time ministry in 1982.

Retirement was not to be the culmination of Charles' contributions and service to God and man. As a powerful force in the Lutheran Church, he has "supplied" in more than 30 churches since that time. In 1992, Charles officiated at the 150th Anniversary at Toledo's Salem Lutheran Church, where both his father and grandfather were pastors. He was the board chair of the Lutheran Housing Corporation of Alpena, an agency of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, which provided a 65-unit apartment complex for elderly people living on low incomes.

Charles is listed in Marquis' Who's Who in Religion (Fourth Edition,1992) and Who's Who in the Midwest (Marquis,1959). His writings include "Selected Sermons for the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church"; "Lutheran Catechism for Adolescents"; and Traditional Collects in Modern Language for the Church Year". He also contributed articles to "Lutheran Standard" of The American Lutheran Church. Over the years, he has been, by invitation, a manuscript critic for Augsburg-Fortress Press. Of particular interest to us would be an unpublished manuscript entitled "Lower Town, Toledo, Ohio, 1835, and What Became of It," which is on file at the Toledo Public Library.

Charles cites his current writing for the Alpena News (Alpena, MI) as "possibly as significant as any previous part of my ministry." Since 1985, he has authored the regular religious column, LIFE LINES, which reaches more than 13,000 homes in five counties in northeastern lower Michigan. "I've learned that copies are mailed by readers to relatives and friends in various parts of the United States. "After reading several LIFE LINE columns, this writer shares a favorite excerpt from "Time to Clean Up": "Most of us are accustomed to taking a bath once a week, or more often ... On a larger scale, Christian churches have a four-week season (Advent) every year to 'clean up our act' ...Bad habits, poor attitudes, and junky thinking need to be discarded ...It's bath time!"

Charles married Lois J. Jahnke, a Swedish-German girl, in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1945. They have four children, all college graduates in education, three still teaching and two married to teachers. Charles and Lois have ten grandchildren; the oldest is a world-class diathlon athlete, who has competed in the US, Tasmania, and Mexico.

Charles' hobbies and interests include art appreciation: paintings, photography and drawings. He enjoys working with wood: trees, cutting and splitting; creative repairs; simple carpentry; and finishing/refinishing. He also enjoys reading and writing.

Charles currently resides in Barton City, Michigan in the summers and Ashland, Ohio in the winter. He was very flattered when notified of his selection to the Woodward Hall of Fame. "I have not considered myself as singularly outstanding or worthy of special honors."

A life of ministry; service; caring; and sharing his thoughts via his writings...these things typify Charles T. Klinksick. Outstanding? Deserving of special honors? We say, YES! Congratulations, Charles!

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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