Charles Marlin Eater graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School in 1939 and later in life took classes from Rend Lake College and Southern Illinois University. He served in the United States Army’s 4th Infantry Division during World War II from January 1942 to September 1945. He was a staff sergeant with Headquarters Unit, landing before dawn on D-Day in Normandy, France. He earned a Presidential Citation for helping secure Utah Beach. He was wounded 30 days later on the front lines of battle, awarded a Purple Heart, and sent to England for recovery. He then returned to serving in Germany in the Battle of the Bulge (also known as the Ardennes Offensive) with the 4th Infantry Division receiving a Bronze Star, two Oak Leaf Clusters for service beyond the call of duty, and a Combat Infantry Badge. He was also present in the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, Germany. At the end of World War II Marlin returned to Mt. Vernon, bought a farm, worked nights in the oil fields and farmed during the day. He retired in 1982.
He had a special talent in art and received many awards and recognitions for his work in oil painting. Several of his paintings were juried and displayed at the Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center and shipped across the United States.
He was an active member of New Hope Baptist Church where he had served as a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, song leader and teacher from 1955 until failing health. He and Nelda were awarded the Dedicated and Outstanding Service Award by New Hope Church.
For those who wish, memorials may be given to the Old Shiloh Cemetery and will be accepted at the funeral home or may be mailed to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864.