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Charles Merkle Wishart

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Charles Merkle Wishart passed away peacefully at home Wednesday morning, Feb. 8, in the company of his wife of 64 years, Cordelia, after coping with Parkinson’s Disease for several years. Charles was the son of Dorothy (Fishback) and Frederick G. Wishart, born on Aug. 8, 1930, in Paris Ill. He was a lifelong Paris resident except for two years of military service spent overseas. 

Charles graduated from Paris High School in 1948, where he played football as an offensive guard, complaining thereafter about his hands constantly being stepped on. After high school, he greatly enjoyed watching others play football. He then attended DePauw University, where he was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity, earning a degree in economics on graduation in 1952. Charles immediately enlisted in the United States Army, attended Army Language School in Monterey, Calif., and was stationed in Europe as a member of the Counterintelligence Corps, mainly in Paris, France. He and Cordelia Tucker were married on Dec. 28, 1952, in Paris, Ill., during a brief leave from the army. Charles and his new bride were fortunate to spend much of his stint in the service together in Monterey and Paris, France. Theirs was a wonderful and remarkable romance. After his tour of duty, Charles and Cordelia returned to Paris, Ill., where they started a family. He managed the Merkle Broom Company in Paris, until it was sold in 1964. He and Cordelia then began working on graduate degrees at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. Charles taught economics as a graduate student, then was hired as an assistant professor at Indiana State, was advanced to the rank of associate professor with tenure, was awarded a university-side excellence in teaching award in 1968, and retired from teaching in 1992. 

He and Cordelia maintained an active agenda after retirement traveling, reading, enjoying sporting events of all manner — especially those of their grandchildren — and serving the community of Paris as avid supporters of the YMCA, Meals on Wheels and the Presbyterian Church. Charles was a lifelong reader and swimmer who also loved to debate history, economics and politics. He could be described nicely as a bon vivant and raconteur. But nothing was more precious to Charles than his family. Charles was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Frederick. He is survived by his widow, Cordelia; daughter Anne Geddes (James); sons Steven (Korie) and David (Josephine Wilson); eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Charles will be much missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Charles’ memory can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Lincolnland Hospice of Mattoon, Ill/ and/or the Paris Rec Center — The Rec of Paris, Ill.

All services will be private. Interment will be in Edgar Cemetery at a later date. Templeton Funeral Home of Paris is in charge of arrangements. Additional information and online condolences at


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