Charlie Steven Kress passed away on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 in Colville. WA. He was born in Philadelphia, PA on Dec. 9, 1921, the son of Charles F. and Ella (Krogman) Kress.
Charlie grew up in Philadelphia and attended public school, graduating from Frankford High School with honors. While playing sandlot baseball, the high school baseball coach saw him and persuaded him to try out for the high school team, even though it was his senior year. He not only made the team, but led them to the championship.
Charlie was selected as the primary first baseman for the All-Public School Team of Philadelphia. From this activity, a professional baseball scout approached him to play professionally. Thus began his baseball career that spanned 32 years.
On Sept. 19, 1942, he married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Keir. To this union, three children were born.
Charlie had barely begun playing professional baseball when WWII began. He enlisted in the Army and became a physical trainer in Florida and Mississippi. He returned to baseball after the war and several events highlighted his career. He was honored at two “Charlie Kress Days” at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia, once when he played in the National League and once when he played in the American League.
Other highlights of his career was batting in Yankee Stadium at the same plate as baseball greats, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig; being named the most valuable player on the Rochester Red Wings (New York) team when they won the AAA World Series, and managing the Des Moines Demons to the league championship.
Charlie retired from baseball in 1961. He began his second career at Tasty Baking Company, rising to the position of Vice-President of shipping and supplies. Because of his parents’ health issues, he retired from Tasty Baking Company in 1973 and bought a resort on Rush Lake, near Perham, MN, where his parents could be with him and his wife.
Around 1980, he retired again and moved to St. Joseph, MO, where he lived until moving to Sandpoint, ID in 2002. Fully retired, he was able to enjoy the mountains and his favorite pastime, being on the lake fishing. He lived in Alpine Vista, a senior apartment complex where he had many friends and enjoyed participating in all the activities they had to offer. Charlie had many friends there and kept conversations lively with his quick wit and humor. A heart attack in September 2013 necessitated nursing home care.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, and beloved wife, Margaret.
He is survived by his daughter, Carol Olson, Clear Lake, SD; sons Charles Kress Jr. and wife Dorothy, Kettle Falls; Ken Kress and wife Cathy, Glenside, PA; four grandchildren, Byron, Clear Lake, SD; Andy Olson, Red Lake Falls, MN; Daniel Kress and Rosie Kress, Glenside, PA; five great-grandchildren, Jerra, Cameron, McKenna, and Garrett Olson, Clear Lake, and Daisy Olson, Red Lake Falls, MN.
A memorial service and celebration of Charlie’s life will be held in the spring in Sandpoint, followed by an ash internment next to his wife at Perham.
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory has been entrusted with the arrangements.
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