Charles Whitmer Ehninger

Born: Thu., Aug. 9, 1923
Died: Mon., Oct. 17, 2011


1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Fri., Oct. 21, 2011
Location: Portage Prairie United Methodist

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Fri., Oct. 21, 2011
Location: Portage Prairie United Methodist

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Charles Whitmer Ehninger was 88 when he died on October 17, 2011.  Charles says, “I had a wonderful, joy-filled and abundant life!” 

 It began on August 9, 1923 in South Bend, Indiana.  He was the second of three children to Clarence L. Ehninger and Edna Whitmer Ehninger, farmers in German Township.  He graduated from Central High School, class of 1941.  Charles attended Pfeiffer Junior College in Misenheimer, North Carolina where he first met Fern Templeton, his future wife.  He later attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.  He also served in the Navy as an Ensign and Aviator of Hellcat Fighter planes in World War II from 1943-1946.

 After the war, Charles and Fern married and settled in South Bend.  Together they owned and operated Ehninger Florist on Wayne Street.   Charles was a creative and talented floral designer and was proud to serve the people of South Bend from 1949 to 1985.   He served his community in many other ways as well.  Charles was a member of the South Bend Lion’s Club for over 55 years and presided as President in 1970-1971.  He was also an active member of Portage Prairie United Methodist Church since 1937.   There he helped build the educational wing in 1963 working as Chairman of the building committee with architect Roy Worden and Associates. 

 Charles had a passion for his family and its history.  He delighted in tracing the Ehninger family genealogy back to Germany in year 1574.   While doing this, he was privileged to meet and establish a relationship with a distant cousin, Emma Ruetter, her husband Reiner, and their children, Ursula and Jorg of Altbach, Germany.  He enjoyed traveling with Fern and photographing their many trips to visit the Ruetters, and other places like Holland, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Greece, the Holy Lands, Fiji, Tonga and the South Pacific. 

 He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Fern on March 14, 2008; his son, Don Charles on April 7, 2000; his sister, Mary Kathryn Roederer wife of Rev. Robert Roederer on November 5, 2000; and grandson, Charlie Uasi on January 17, 2009. 

 Charles is eternally proud of his daughter-in-law Carolyn Krouse Ehninger of Knoxville, Tennessee; his granddaughters, Keri Ehninger Schmidt (Carl) of Columbus, Ohio, Jamie Ehninger (Franco Farroch) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Holly Ehninger of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Moli Uasi of Mishawaka, Indiana; his three great-grandchildren, Vivian Boles, Grace Schmidt, and Charles Schmidt; and his adopted son and daughter, Tali and Mary Uasi.  He leaves behind his brother, Robert L. Ehninger and sister-in-law Lois (Udvardy) Ehninger of South Bend, Indiana, and his many loving nieces and nephews and their children. 

 Special thanks extended to Julie, Tanya and Susan of Your Home Assisted Living for their care and support and to all of Charles’ loving and supportive friends who were a real source of joy for him in these last years. 

 Funeral services will be held at Portage Prairie United Methodist Church at 2:00pm on Friday, October 21. Family is invited to gather at the church at 12:00pm.  Friends are welcome to call beginning at 1:00pm.  

 In light of his career and passion as a florist, feel free to send flowers!  


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