I have been informed by a reader of this blog that Charlie’s store was not located in Smelterville. His brother John’s store was the one located there. Here is the info on Charlie’s store location from reader Collin Dover:
“Charlie Dietiker’s store was in Milltown near the Leming sawmill. John Dietikers store was in Smelterville on South Sprigg Street. Charlie’s store was on the corner as you rounded the corner after turning by the White Cross building going south from downtown on Water Street or South Main Street…..”
Thank you, Collin, for correcting the record on the store location.
What I remember most about Charlie was that he drove an old panel truck with lots of room in the back. Every Sunday morning he would drive all over South Cape picking up any kids that wanted to go to church with him. We would all pile into that old truck and hang on. I don’t remember exactly what the inside of the truck looked like but I do recall that a lot of us sat in the floor. When he turned a corner we would slide to the other side of the truck. It was fun!
Charlie took us to Southside Baptist Church. We had Sunday School and then listened to Rev. Charles Marshall preach. There was lots of singing too, all those old Baptist hymns that still run through my mind sometimes. Last winter when my mom was so sick, I would go get the Baptist hymnal and sing those old hymns softly to her. She loved to sing but was unable to at the end. She left this world December 18, 2010, with all her kids and many of her grand-kids gathered around her bed. I sure do miss talking to her every day. Even though we lived far apart, we talked on the phone every day.
Back to Charlie, he probably planted more seeds in the South Cape’s kids hearts than he knew. He would sometimes lead the singing and I learned not to sit on the front row; he loved to sing the song “Trust & Obey”.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.
He really put the accent on the ‘T’ in Trust and, because his front teeth had a space between them, the spit would fly! I loved Charlie but I made sure that I was at least in the 2nd or 3rd row when he led the singing.
In looking through some of the archives of the Southeast Missourian I found many articles of Charlie and his brother John’s good deeds to their neighbors. I also found a picture from 1977 with my former classmate, Charles Taylor, in it. The article below features Charlie’s brother, John:
Charlie’s work was done on March 5, 1999. I thank God he was part of my life.
Charlie Dietiker’s store was in Milltown near the Leming sawmill. John Dietikers store was in Smelterville on South Sprigg Street. Charlie’s store was on the corner as you rounded the corner after turning by the White Cross building going south from downtown on Water Street or South Main Street. Charlie was a good friend to me, and I loved to visit his church, Southside Baptist. Walter Reynolds was Sunday School Supt. and Tom Dietiker, Charlie’s son was song leader. Charlie was Deacon along with others. I remember a Mr. Seabaugh being a deacon. Charles Marshall was pastor. Brother Marshall baptized me as a young boy when he pastored the Illmo Baptist Church. Thank you for this good memory
Thank you Collin for the information on where Charlie’s store was located. I did not know that his store was not in Smelterville. I also attended Southside Baptist and was baptized as a child by Rev Marshall.
Darla, our Family went to Southside and was very active in Church, maybe you went to school with moy older brother or sister, Madelen Graham-McLaughlin and Jerry Graham? Is Brother Marshall still living, he Baptised me when I was 11. I think he had a son my age named Charlie maybe?
Darla June, I sure enjoyed reading your story on Charlie taking young people to church in his van. I know he was always inviting people to church. I spent many hours visiting with him at his store. He was very good about helping people in their time of need.
I also spent time at his brother’s store on South Sprigg. John feed a number of families when they were unable to pay for their groceries. The dietikers played avery important role in the lives of many people in Cape Girardeau.
Thanks again for your story. It brought back good memories.
Collin, I am glad you enjoyed the memories. Looks like we were influenced by some of the same people. Yes, good memories of Charlie and also of Rev Marshall. Rev Marshall visited me when I was bed-ridden for a year in 1961-62. He was such a kind person.
My dad Charles Marshall, who was Pastor at South Side Baptist Church in the 1960s is still alive at age 85.
I remember you John. And your sister, Esther. So glad to hear that your dad is still alive. He did a lot of good in many lives.