Shawnee lost a lifelong resident and true gentleman when Charles Melvin Woods passed away on Dec. 20, 2017, at the age of 98.

Shawnee lost a lifelong resident and true gentleman when Charles Melvin Woods passed away on Dec. 20, 2017, at the age of 98.

Charles, known to friends and family as Charlie or Melvin, and as Papaw in his later years, was born July 28, 1919, at home in rural Pottawatomie County. He was the fifth of six children born to Earl Merrill Woods and Lottie Ann (Musick) Woods.

Charles spent the majority of his 98 years in and around the Shawnee area. He attended South Rock Creek grade school and graduated from high school in Earlsboro in 1941.

He met Nona Catherine Long at Rock Creek Baptist Church and the couple married Sept. 21, 1941. They spent 68 loving years together until her death in 2010.

Charles served his country for three and one-half years during World War II. After enlisting on April 13, 1942, Charles was assigned to the finance division and graduated from the Army Finance School, Wake Forest, North Carolina in 1943. He was honorably discharged from his post of Chief of Accounting at Barksdale Field AFB, Louisiana, on Nov. 9, 1945.

Charles served the city of Shawnee for 33 years, working in many positions with the U.S. Postal Service. He began his postal career on Sept. 1, 1941, as a substitute mail carrier, and returned to the Postal Service after the war. Following promotions to special clerk, foreman of mails, and superintendent of mails, Charles retired from the position of assistant postmaster on Dec. 31, 1974.

Charles served his community in many ways throughout his life. He was a longtime member and deacon of the First Baptist Church of Shawnee, and a member of the Shawnee Rotary Club and the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce. One of Charles’s most notable achievements was leading a team of four in crafting a bill in the Oklahoma State Legislature. The bill proposed full state income tax exemption for the retirement pay of some 35,000 federal retirees living in Oklahoma who draw CSRS retirement in lieu of Social Security.

It passed and was enacted in 2006. Outside of his civic activities, Charles enjoyed gardening, farming hay, raising cattle, and maintaining his home and acreage east of Shawnee.

Charles was preceded in death by his wife, Nona Catherine; daughter, Cherita Sue; parents, three sisters, and two brothers.

He is survived by daughters Needa White of Rollins, Montana, Janice Goode of Shawnee, and Ramona Cargill of Granbury, Texas. Charles was lovingly known as “Papaw” to his 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 22, at Resthaven Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will immediately follow at Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetery.

Services have been entrusted to Resthaven Funeral home. Please visit our online guestbook at

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, 227 N Union Ave, Shawnee, OK 74802.