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Home > About Us > In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Charles Duey Staton
May 28, 1931 to July 29, 2004

Charles Staton, Asset Midwest LLC

Charles Staton

A light has gone out in Muncie and Delaware County. Please allow me to explain. On January 20, 1989, in his inaugural address President George Herbert Walker Bush spoke of a thousand points of light spread like stars across our nation doing good. President Bush referred to these lights as people or organizations doing good and benefiting those communities where their specific light was located. Just as a plant blooms and beautifies where it is planted, a light provides its illuminating benefit where is placed. By Divine Providence, Charles D. Staton's light was located here in Muncie and Delaware County, and we are all the better for its presence. Mr. Staton, which I have always called him out of respect, was a Navy Veteran of the Korean War. He passed away on July 29, 2004.

First, think about the benefit of his light on the local quality of life. Looking back at his life, he alone, with his brothers, or with other partners either developed or completed places for people to live and raise their families. Carefully examine the places in this paragraph and see if you currently live or have lived in a place involving Mr. Staton. These places includes subdivisions such as Westbrook Manor, Evergreen West, Breckinridge, Yorktowne Meadows, Nottingham Hills, Pearwood, Robinwood Place, Robinwood Estates, Saddlebrook at Crapo Estates, Carrington Woods, Copperfield Commons, Jackson Crossing, Johnson Circle, and the 18th Street Affordable Housing Project. Except for maybe two or three of these projects, these projects usually had fifty or more home sites. The condominium or apartment complexes he developed included Liberty Village Health Care Facility, Sycamore House, Godman Arms, and Down River Apartments. Furthermore, there are countless houses he built not only in these subdivisions, but also throughout Muncie and Delaware County. In addition, there are numerous home remodels, too many to count. He always stressed good workmanship. As a member of the Muncie Homebuilders Association, his annual Parade of Homes houses frequently won awards ranging from Best Bath to Best Exterior to Best of Show.

Second, think about his light having the positive local economic impact. For example, think about all the dollars flowing to local vendors and suppliers when these subdivisions and the homes in the subdivisions were being built. This ranged from concrete suppliers for the streets to cabinetmakers for each home and everything in between. Think about all the other builders who were able to practice their trade and build quality homes because Mr. Staton fulfilled his vision and developed a subdivision where they could also build homes. Think about all the local construction laborers, trade craftsmen, and subcontractors who were able to feed, house, and clothe their families because of the availability of work generated by these projects. Think about the work experience and opportunity to develop their expertise these laborers, craftsmen, and subcontractors received from being able to work in these projects. Last, think about all the incremental increase in real estate tax revenues flowing to fund governmental services from real estate having residences now located on them. Truly, this light did glow brightly for the benefit of many! This is so amazing when you consider where he started out from. Mr. Staton came back to Muncie from his service in the U.S. Navy with a little over $200.00 in mustering out pay. Notwithstanding the work of the five Ball brothers which gave much benefit to the community, in the history of Muncie and Delaware County arguably no other single individual has started out with so little capital and multiplied it through projects he was involved in with his brothers and partners for the benefit of so many local people over his lifetime. This is especially true in the latter half of the twentieth century and the first few years of the twenty–first century.

Third, think about the benefit of his light on the cultural and spiritual welfare of Delaware County and Muncie. Mr. Staton's light went beyond his vocation of real estate and home building. Working with Arlin Kirklin, former Muncie City Engineer and a fellow member of Grace Baptist Church, Mr. Staton and Mr. Kirklin were instrumental in construction of the frame of the eighty person Living Christmas Tree which has become a Muncie Christmas tradition performed in December to capacity audiences at Grace Baptist Church. In addition, Mr. Staton, working with Mr. Kirklin, was the contractor who built the new educational wing and fellowship hall at Grace Baptist Church. Many Muncie and Delaware County residents, particularly senior citizens use this hall. He was on the Deacon Board at Grace Baptist for many years helping to oversee and maintain its spiritual and fiscal soundness and ensure the spiritual quality of its ministries in the community. He was the Chairman of the Deacon Board at the time of his light being removed.

Fourth, while his light was brightest locally, his light went beyond Delaware County. As a member of the Board of Directors of Neil Cadwell Evangelistic Ministries, Inc., located here in Muncie, Mr. Staton visited Ukraine many times helping Evangelist Neil Cadwell to minister in that country. In fact, two congregations in Ukraine have buildings to meet in directly as a result to Mr. Statons's financial contributions. Also, Mr. Staton was on a construction mission team that helped construct a church near the Blackfeet Reservation in Heart Butte, Montana, and helped build cabins at The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center in Brevard, North Carolina.

Fifth, think about how his light acted as a guiding beacon for other individuals who wish to also have their light benefit Delaware County and Muncie both now and in the future. While some may say that the most benefit to our community can only come about by people being employed at a new large manufacturing plant or a corporate headquarters, Mr. Staton's light illuminated a different path. This path leads to cultural and economic benefit using homegrown local individuals acting on their entrepreneurial spirit rising up and using local resources to create profitable businesses that benefit the local community. It leads to financial and intellectual capital staying in or flowing into Delaware County. This path does not lead to individuals leaving the community or moving out of state. This path means staying here and blooming where you were planted, glowing where you light was placed. If you were an individual desiring to start a company, he would say go for it; let your light shine, but let it shine here in Muncie so you can help others located here to shine also.

I bring this to a close, and it is very emotionally hard to do so because I have not even begun to do justice to what all he accomplished, especially when you consider the infinite number of details that is involved in subdivision development such as financing, permitting, engineering, excavation, street and sewer installation, and home building. It is very safe to say that if you live in Delaware County or Muncie, you may very well live or have lived in a subdivision that was developed or completed by Mr. Staton or some developer who learned their trade working for Mr. Staton. You may also live or have lived in a house or apartment that was built or remodeled by Mr. Staton's company or by someone who at one time worked with or under him. Let me say, given what all he accomplished, given his generosity, given all the capital he invested, increased, and multiplied to the benefit of the citizens and businesses of Muncie and Delaware County, he has left quite a legacy, a legacy of leadership by a Christian man with strong core moral principles, a legacy left not so much by words, but by example and action. To be sure, any time one takes action, mistakes will happen and not all will be pleased; however, the critics of people taking action are generally people that lack vision, hate action, and seek security in the inadequacy of the status quo, not change and action toward improvement of the status quo. Mr. Staton sought improvement of the status quo in his business, his church and Christian life, and his community.

Yes, God's taking of him and his light has left quite a hole of darkness. However in this hole is left a legacy of a role model of action so that subsequent generations of Muncie and Delaware County entrepreneurs using his example may replace this taken light with a light that may glow higher and brighter than what was before. Mr. Staton would smile and say go for it!

Written with many, many tears and respectfully submitted in fulfillment of Exodus 20:12 to honor my spiritually adopted father,

Michael H. Stikeleather
Son–in–Law of Charles D. Staton

Exodus 20:12 "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (KJV–The fifth of the Ten Commandments)

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