Charles H. (Chuck) Norris, 88, of rural Mason City, Iowa, was born July 23, 1925 -- just four years after the birth of my 93-years-young mother. Chuck was born in the small town of Earlham, Iowa (whose population today is 1,450), and raised there and in Plad, Missouri, before moving to Mason City at 14 years of age.
Herein lie the four critical virtues of this great American that could restore our country if we all modeled them, too, especially because they seem to be fading fast from the American landscape.
1) Chuck was patriotic and fought for his country.
He didn't nod at globalism while pledging the flag. He didn't point out the country's problems without being a part of the solutions. Mason City's Globe Gazette said, "He served two years in the United States Army, serving in Japan during the occupation of World War II."
I commend all who have served and serve. And even if you couldn't or didn't, that shouldn't prohibit you from being a freedom fighter on multiple fronts. Like Chuck, let's continue to stand up tall and proud for our Founding Fathers' principles and the red, white and blue.
2) Chuck had a strong work ethic his whole life.
After his military service ended in 1947, Chuck returned to Mason City and started his farming career with the personal aid of Gen. Hanford MacNider, an "Iowa farm boy" himself who was born in Mason City and transformed into one of Iowa's best-known war heroes.
Chuck initially rented a farm just outside of town owned by another Mason City family. But in 1961, after he was married and had kids, he purchased his own family farm between Mason City and Clear Lake. His and his family's farming career spanned over 60 years!
The Globe Gazette said: "He was truly a lifetime farmer and talked about checking the crops on the farm he loved until the day he died. ... Chuck liked trying new things and he was always an early adopter of technologies that would improve his farm operation."
Chuck had many interests and hobbies, including gardening, collecting antique tractors, going with others on tractor rides and taking fishing trips to northern Minnesota and Canada.