Charles E. “Charlie” Sens
April 04, 1925 ‒ January 31, 2020
A self-made man, Charles E. “Charlie” Sens, age 94, of Marion, died Friday, January 31, 2020, at home surrounded by his loving family following an extended illness.
On April 4, 1925, Charlie was born in Marion, Ohio, the eleventh of twelve children of the late Joseph F. Sens Sr. and Marybelle (Gough) Sens. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School. Growing up, Charlie started his working career when he was 12 years old, making the most of his newspaper route as a “Paper Boy”.
Immediately following graduation, Charlie enlisted to serve his beloved country in the US Army during the battle of World War II. He served in the 34th Armory Infantry division and was stationed in Iowa, earning a Silver Star and Purple Heart for his heroics during the Battle of Anzio and the Northern African Campaign.
Upon his honorable discharge, Charlie returned home to Marion, Ohio, where he would be set up on a blind date with Jeannette Schuler, who was friends with Charlie’s sister at church. From there the rest is history. They were married shortly thereafter on October 9, 1948. Together they lovingly raised six children and shared seventy-one wonderful years of marriage.
While courting Jeannette, Charlie started Servex Electronics with his brother, Joseph Sens Jr., opening their first store on N. State St. in Marion with $10. While trying to grow the business, he was helping to make ends meet as a teller at Fahey Bank, where Frances Huber saw him as a star pupil and took him under his wing and “always pushed him” to better himself. At Fahey Bank, he worked his way up to President of the bank in the ’70s and ’80s. During that time, he was growing his Servex Electronics business, expanding to Mansfield, Sandusky, Tiffin, Fremont, Mount Vernon, Findlay, Delaware, and Wooster. They diversified their business with both wholesale and retail stores, and developing shopping centers and strip malls to manage commercially. Charlie was especially proud to have his children follow in his footsteps to help manage their family’s business ventures.
Very civic minded, Charlie had served on too many boards in the community to be able to list them all and in many capacities; notably the Rotary Club of Marion and Marion Area Chamber of Commerce. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 7201 and served on the board of directors of Scioto Downs. One example of his love for his community, was when he donated fifty-plus television sets to the Marion Children’s Home to try and give those children a little happiness and hope. He also was a faithful member of St. Mary Church and of the Knights of Columbus in Marion.
As Charlie’s work accomplishments grew, so did the size of his hobbies. Anyone who knew Charlie knew about his love for antique cars, which lead to the Charlie Sens Car Museum, where his family joked that “he had more Ford’s than the Henry Ford Museum.” He also loved model train sets, building numerous extensive LGB train sets.
Charlie “did everything the hard way” in life. He worked hard and persevered, no matter the obstacles in his way. By far and away though, Charlie’s proudest achievement was raising his six children (all of whom he adored) and putting them through college.
Throughout his life, Charlie had a lifelong love of music. Before starting his family, he had his own band, the Charles Sens Band, for whom he was the drummer and band director. He also loved traveling, and he and Jeannette traveled much of the world with their GE Group. Recently, he was proud to visit Washington DC on an Honor Flight.
A true gentleman, Charlie always had an ornery smile on his face, a wink in his eye, and warmth in his heart.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Jeannette Sens of Marion; five children: Jean Sens of Florence, KY, Ruth Ann (Wayne) Perr of Fort Spanish, AL, Michael (Linda) Sens of Marysville, OH, Gregory (Ileana) Sens of Marion, and John (Denise) Sens of Marion; twelve grandchildren: Nicole (Ross) Camara, Sean (Karin Kringen) Crnkovich, Jeannette (Robert) Spano, Christopher (Robin) Perr, Lauren (Joe) Rebello, Danielle (Devin) Severns, Tony (Ashley) Sens, Greg Sens, Christina (Colin) Nicholson, Michelle Sens, and Jonathon and Lexie Sens; 19 great-grandchildren; and loads of nieces and nephews.
Including his parents, Charlie was preceded in death by his son, Patrick Sens; and all eleven siblings: Harold “Gene”, Fred, Bernard, James, Joseph Jr., and Paul Sens, Anna Haley, Norma Jean, Bernadine, Mildred Howard, and Marie Wearsch.
His family will greet friends from 3 – 7 pm on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, GUNDER/HALL Chapel, 347 W. Center St., Marion. A sacred Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Wednesday, at St. Mary Church, 251 N. Main St., Marion, with Father Thomas Buffer officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council at the church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and they can be sent to the funeral home.
On behalf of his family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Dr. Bobby Singh and staff and the nurses at Marion General Hospital and hospice.
Snyder Funeral Homes, Gunder/Hall Chapel, are honored to serve Charlie’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them via www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.