Cover photo for Charles "Spin" Wilderspin's Obituary
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1920 Charles 2016

Charles "Spin" Wilderspin

March 26, 1920 — June 14, 2016

Obituary Image

Munising, MI / Punta Gorda, FL

Charles J. “Spin” Wilderspin, age 96, of Munising and Punta Gorda, Florida, died Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Port Charlotte, FL.  He was born on March 26, 1920 in Fort Francis, Ontario, Canada to the late Charles W. and Eva (Niedzwicki) Wilderspin, while they were there visiting family in Canada.  Spin grew up in Munising and then entered into the U.S. Army in June of 1940. He married Geralda “Jerry” Hickey on August 1, 1941 and together they raised their four children.  Spin was in the First Special Service Force, a British-American Commando Force, and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands.  He was a WWII Veteran and was awarded the Good Conduct Ribbon, American Defense Service Ribbon, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon.  Spin was Honorably Discharged in May of 1945 as a Technician Fifth Grade (Tec 5).  When he returned home, he began working for G & T Corporation running lines for the logging operations, and also working as a sawyer, until he was in a logging accident where a tree landed on him a put him in a full upper body cast.  During this time with G & T Charlie and Jerry ran a hunting camp off of the Adams Trail made from multiple train box cars and a caboose.  “Spin’s Hunting Camp” outfitted up to fifty deer hunters a season each November.  After recovering from his accident, Spin began working at the Munising Wooden Ware as a stamper, until they closed in 1955.  Spin moved his family to Lansing and he began working for the Carpenter’s Union as an organizer for the AFL-CIO and AFS-CME.  When he joined the Union, they sent him to Harvard University for courses in Education and Finance.  Spin worked for the Carpenter’s Union for twenty years before moving his family back to Munising.  This is where he began working for Madison Chemical Corporation out of Chicago as a salesman.  During this time Spin served on the Alger County Board of Commissioners, and then ran to be the Representative in the U.S. Congress.  When he retired in 1985, he and Jerry found a place in Golden Gate Estates, Florida where they lived for ten years before returning again to their family home in Munising.  Spin was baptized, married, and a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in Munising, a member of the Burnt Store Presbyterian Church in Punta Gorda, American Legion Post #131 in Munising, and the Alger County Democratic Party.  He enjoyed golfing, his yearly fishing trips with Jerry to Canada and spending time at their beloved camp on Nugent Lake. Spin was a people person, who loved his grandchildren very much.

He is survived by his three daughters – Sherry Stelmaszek of Punta Gorda, FL, Dee Wilder of Ocala, FL, and Sue (Duff) Meyer of Marquette, MI; daughter-in-law – Lee Ann Brook of Lansing; grandchildren – Col. Richard (Lisa) Fromm, Tammie Fromm, John Stelmaszek, Christopher (Dana) Vadnais, Paula (Ted) Bullard, Jason Carter, Christine (Andrew) Burnette, Brad (Megen) Meyer, Cindy Brook, and Sue (Mark) Jokela; great-grandchildren – Charles, Cole, Clay, Brent (Hannah), Christina, Samantha, Annastasia (Ty), Chelsea, C.J., Jessica, Jadee, Brandon, Bryce, Brody, Brooklynn, Alex, Cody, C.J., and Emma; great-great-grandchildren – Madison, Brooklynn, Brooklynne, Brooklyn, Gregory, Brad, Arwen and Marley ; and several nieces and nephews.  Spin was preceded in death by his parents – Charles and Eva; wife of seventy-two years – Jerry Wilderspin; son – Vernon Wilderspin; grandson – Scott Stelmaszek; sister – Cibble (Ted) Golisek; and son-in-law – John Stelmaszek.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising, Michigan from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m.  Pastor Jim Robb will conduct Spin’s funeral at the funeral home on Thursday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m.  Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising, where the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard will conduct military honors.  Spins obituary and guestbook may be viewed and signed at

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