Charles Lange, A Long Time Trophy Maker Retires
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According to an article on the Daily Advocate dated January 28, long-time trophymaker, Charles Lange, has retired.

Lange regularly provided the 4-H trophies for the Parade of Champions, year in and year out, for the last 12 years. The trophies are traditionally passed out before the parade.

The event is usually held during the Great Darke Country Fair. Last year, just before the parade started, the announcement was made. It marked Charles Lange’s final year to make the trophies.

How It Started

After a series of trophy companies moving to another location or going out of business made it difficult for the Parade of Champions to have a regular supplier of trophies, Lange stepped in. He began making the trophies that, by now, are so well-known and associated with the parade. Andrea, Lange’s wife, remembered what Lange once said: “There’s no reason I can’t make those.” He certainly went ahead and did it. This started him on his path as a trophy maker.

Andrea further recounted that Lange did it because “he wanted to do it.” She added that Lange added the stickers as well as made the state of Ohio-shaped ones. The latter were especially designed for 4-H members who had passed the ten-year mark with the organization. After that, it was only natural that 11-year members were also put on the list for award recipients. For this, Lange created a plaque. Each one measured around 8 x 10. Lange then took a pattern, adding a clover design. Andrea, his wife and herself, a member of 4-H for 33 years, added the stickers.

A Man of Many Talents

Charles Lange, though remarkable as a maker of trophies, had many talents. He was a skilled maker of beautiful things and often worked with wood. He was known to have a deft hand with furniture pieces such as end tables, coffee tables and curio cabinets. Back in high school, Lange already had a shop. At that time, his father, too, had a wood shop lathe. Among other pieces Lange has worked on include Andre’s lazy Susan. Lange made it for her to match her round kitchen table. However, he ended up making eight, instead of just one.

Andrea has said of her husband of 47 years that Lange could probably do anything, provided that it come with a pattern. Other people who’ve been gifted with this man’s generosity and creativity include Sandy Finkbine, for whom Lange made tables. The tables had been made out of the tree they had after Andrea had given birth to their daughter.

A Good Guy

Next year, someone else will take over as a trophy maker for the 4-H. It’s a lot of work, certainly a lot for someone turning 79 and undergoing short-term memory loss, as Charles Lange is.

Andrea’s thoughts on her husband were: “Charles will be 79 on April 5. He’s a good guy.” We wholeheartedly concur.


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