Charles Henry Escher, 84, a lifetime farmer and longtime resident of Audubon County, Iowa, died surrounded by his loving family Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, at the Hospice House of Omaha, Neb., after a long battle with lung and bladder cancer.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at United Methodist Church in Manning. A luncheon will follow the service. Memorial contributions can be made to the local chapter of the FFA and Orphaned and Injured Wildlife, Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Born Dec. 31, 1927, at home in Shelby County, Iowa, to Laura (Lundby) and Herbert Escher, Charles was the youngest of five children. As a young man Charles excelled in sports and livestock judging.

After graduating from Tenant High School in 1945, Charles proudly served one year in the Army in the 7th Infantry Division in South Korea.

Upon returning home he farmed with his mother on the Knoll Krest Farm in Shelby County until 1950. After selling that farm, Charles and his mother purchased a farm in Audubon County. Charles farmed that land for more than 50 years. The Escher Place was widely known for its pristine buildings, white fences and black Angus cow and calf herd.

In 1952 Charles married Marilyn Ann Simpson from Irwin, Iowa. They worked the lad together, sharing the joys and disappointments of farming for 45 years.

They raised four children: Jo Lynn (Steve Thorson, Omaha, Neb.), Kirk (Marilu, Redlands, Calif.), Jill (Dr. David Neidig, Mount Vernon, Ill.) and Keith (Long Beach, Calif.).

Charles is survived by his children; grandchildren, Jane Thorson, Stephanie Thorson, Andrea Boschult (husband Aaron), Ben Thorson, Nick Neidig, Eric Neidig, Matthew Escher (wife Courtney), Marisa Escher, Stacy Escher and Natalie Escher; two great-grandchildren, Aubrey and Emma Escher; and special companion and bingo partner Florine Nielsen.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his loving wife, Marilyn.