May 7, 1933 – November 1, 2017

Charles Van Hensley, Sr., 84, of Effingham, Illinois, passed away at 5:02 p.m., Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Illinois.

Funeral services celebrating Van’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 6, 2017, at the Meyer Funeral Home in Newton, Illinois, with Rev. Bob Peach officiating. Burial will be in the Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Newton, Illinois. Visitation will be held 1 hour before the service. In loving memory of Charles, memorials may be made to the Gospel Assembly Church c/o Rev. Bob Peach 810 South Fifth Street Effingham, Illinois. The obituary can be viewed and condolences left at www.meyerfh.com.

Charles Van Hensley, better known as “Van” was born on May 7, 1933, in Bridgeport, Illinois, the son of Rolla Hanson Hensley, Sr. and Aretta (Crump) Hensley. Van entered the United States Air Force at the young age of 18, and served his country until his retirement after 20 years of service. His dedication to his country and the Air Force didn’t end there. He continued his career as civilian instructor until retiring again after 10 years of dedicated service. Van married Henrietta Ellen (Whalen) Utley on July 30, 1977. She preceded him in death on October 7, 2015, after 38 years of marriage and a life of adventure. Van and Henrietta owned and operated the People’s Choice in Newton for many years. They owned “This and That” resale shop, which they operated for over 20 years in Rantoul, Effingham and Clay City, Illinois. Van was a member of the Gospel Assembly Church in Effingham and a lifetime member of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association.

Van is survived by his children, Edward Utley of Mason, Sherry Herbel of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Michael (Lisa) Utley of Punta Gorda, Florida; Roslin Anderson of Rantoul, Dreama (Mike) Doolittle of Coatesville, Indiana; Charles (Rhonda) Hensley, Jr. of Rantoul, Dennis (Gaye) Utley of Effingham, and Rebecca (Henry) Ashley of Effingham; twenty-seven grandchildren; thirty-four great-grandchildren; one great, great-grandchildren; brothers, Rolla “Butch” Hensley of Bridgeport, Carl (Jane) Hensley of St. Francisville, and Jim Dale (Peggy) Hensley of Lawrenceville; sisters, Shelia Gray of Richmond, Virginia and Betty (David) Brian of Sumner.

Van was preceded in death by his parents, loving wife Henrietta, son Andy Utley, brother Harve Hensley and a sister Jane Burrell.