Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Charles E. Best

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Charles E. Best, Lt. Col. retired, of Ironwood, passed away on Jan. 1, 2021, two days shy of his 95th birthday of natural causes.

Charles was born on Jan. 3, 1926, in Ironwood to the late John W. Best and Grace Finerty Best. He attended Ironwood Area Schools and the University of Michigan.

In 1944, Charles was called to active duty. He spent the next 23 years serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He retired in 1967 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

While stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, Charles met and married his wife, Mildred Pierce, in a double military wedding on Sept. 5, 1946. Mildred preceded him in death in 2007.

Charles returned to the Ironwood area in 1973. From 1981 to 1989 he served on the City Commission and was the mayor of Ironwood from 1985 to 1987. He was very active in the First Presbyterian Church, where he held many positions. He was a very dedicated member of the Ironwood Masonic Lodge, the Shriners, the Gogebic Range Band, and the Republican Party of Gogebic County. He was active in the United Way and also worked with Boy Scouts. Each week he would go to the nursing homes to sing and pray with the residents.

Charles was one of the founders of H.O.P.E. Animal Shelter. Local folks will always remember seeing his cat in the window at his office.

Survivors include his daughter-in-law, Carolyn Best; granddaughters, Laura and Jessica Best; several great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Betty Best of Hiawassee, Georgia; nieces, Jackie Best Lamberty (Robert) of Mercer, Wisconsin, Dorothy Best (Dave Smitley) of Lansing, and Lucy Best of Brasstown, North Carolina; and nephews, Jon Best (Jeanette) of Grand Blanc, Michigan, and Robert Best of Marble Hill, Georgia.

Besides his parents, Charles was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred; his stepson, James Allan Best; his brothers, John and Donald; and other family members.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial service with Military and Masonic Rites will be held at a later date.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home to honor Charles' legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at