Charles Palek

Mr. Charles Palek of Columbia, MO, departed this life at his residence on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 1:37 AM. He had attained the age of 67 years, 1 month and 17 days.

Mr. Palek was born in Belleville, on March 9, 1949, the son of Donald and Esther (Brammeier) Palek. He graduated from Nashville Community High School in Nashville, and enlisted in the US Army in 1967. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and received 3 Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, and Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Infantry Badge, seven air medals and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. In 2001, he wrote “Tattletale”, a book in which he shared his Vietnam experiences.

Charlie married Roxanne House on August 7, 1971 in Nashville, IL and she survives his passing. He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Still Photography in 1974. He also received his Master of Photography certification from the Professional Photographer’s Association. Charlie was a partner in James Photography in Sturgis, SD and then moved to Columbia, MO, where he owned Softlight Photography for 15 years. He retired in 2004, due to health reasons.

Even though he was a successful portrait & commercial photographer, his greatest love was wildlife photography. He took hundreds of wonderful photographs while living in Kentucky and South Dakota. Many of these were published through the Animals, Animals agency in New York. He was also a life-long military history buff & enjoyed sharing stories with other enthusiasts.

He is survived by his wife, Roxy; his mother, Esther Palek; his sister, Donna Keen and husband Dave and their two daughters, Andi Phillips and husband Greg, and Jodi Holloway and husband Lucas; his sister, Ann Leadendecker and husband Philip and their daughter, Jenna Borrenpohl and husband Dylan; his brother, Terry and wife Becky and their two sons, Cooper and Carter; his sister, Sherry Kraus and husband Keith and their two daughters, Sophie and Sarah; his in-laws, Larry House and wife Jo, nephew David House and wife Melissa and great nephews, Andrew and Sean; and well as many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father and in-laws, Lawrence and Dorothy House.

Per the wishes of Charles and his family, cremation was performed and a memorial service will be held at Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 11 A.M. with Nancy Shubert officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Organization or the Central Missouri Humane Society in Columbia, MO and will be accepted by the Campagna Funeral Home.

Online expressions of sympathy can be made at