Charlie VanderMeer (a.k.a. Uncle Charlie) passed away quietly at his home on Friday, February 22, 2019, following a recent fall.
Charlie was the former host of Keys for Kids, a short feature heard on VOAR.
In 1943, nine-year-old Charlie started taking part in the Children’s Bible Hour radio broadcasts. Charlie’s dad had brought him to one of the live broadcasts in the WLAV studio, which were often filled to capacity. Uncle Mel would occasionally take a roving microphone and interview members of the studio audience. One of those he interviewed was Charlie. Mel liked the way he responded, and Charlie was invited to be a regular—not to sing, but to read Scripture, poems, and object lessons. He eventually got a regular part in the dramatized stories written by Harry Trover.
Charlie left the program to attend college. In 1956, after graduating from Bob Jones University, he took a temporary position and made plans to go to the mission field. But in the end, Children’s Bible Hour became his mission field. He became Uncle Charlie in 1972 after Aunt Bertha’s retirement, becoming the fourth director of the ministry. It was a position he held until March 1999. He continued to serve as the voice of Keys for Kids until December 2015.
Charlie is survived by his wife, Bette, daughters Lori, Linda, and Jenni, son Jeff, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews who listened to him over the years.
“It’s not what you know, it’s Who you know.” – Uncle Charlie