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Benefit to help wife, daughter
Photo supplied A benefit dinner is planned this weekend to help the family of the late Charles Van Over II pay for funeral expenses and raise money for his wife, Amanda, and their daughter, Savanah, 3. The spaghetti dinner is from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Monroe American Legion, 1627 12th Ave.

If You Go

The benefit for the Van Over family is from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Monroe American Legion, 1627 12th Ave.

MONROE - Charles Van Over II knew he had only a few weeks to live when his wife and her mother and a couple of friends began to organize a benefit to help his family.

In September, his doctor gave the 27-year-old Monroe man as few as two weeks to as many as six months to live. He had battled brain cancer for four years. He and his wife, Amanda, had fought the disease together.

His death Oct. 23 left Amanda and their daughter, Savanah, to face the future without him.

"The doctors told him they could do one more treatment, but it would only prolong his life, not save it," Amanda said softly.

It's hard for her talk about him and the impact his death had on her and their daughter. It was almost three weeks after Charles' death before she returned to work at McDonald's in Monroe. Being with her co-workers has been comforting, she said.

"This has really been hard for her," Rebecca Andrews said of her daughter. "We try to spend as much time with her as we can."

It's also been hard for Savanah, who will be 4 on Dec. 12. Death isn't easy for a child to understand.

"She said she was mad at her dad because he went away," Amanda said. "We tried to explain that daddy didn't want to go away."

"She said her daddy left them all alone," Andrews added.

The next few weeks will be especially hard for the family as they cope with their loss. Getting through the holidays will be another challenge.

"We were able to get through Halloween. I don't know how we'll get through the holidays," Amanda said.

Amanda said she and Charles talked about life insurance before he was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer in 2005, but they never purchased it.

And then there is the cost of the funeral and the financial difficulties of raising a child alone.

The benefit was planned to help the family with funeral and general expenses. The benefit was something Charles wanted, as well. He wanted to take care of his family after he was gone.

It was typical of him, Andrews said, to be thinking of his wife and daughter.

The benefit dinner will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Monroe American Legion, 1627 12th Ave. The dinner will include spaghetti, salad bar, desserts, milk, juice and coffee.

The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children 7-12 and is free for children 6 and under.