Dr. Charles was born and raised on a small farm near Carmi, Illinois, the son of Claud and Velma Spence. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1966 with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Shortly after graduation, he joined the Army and spent 12 months in Vietnam as a Captain. When he returned to the States he was stationed in Petersburg, Virginia where he met his bride to be, Margaret. They married in 1968 and moved to Poplar Bluff, Missouri where Dr. Charles practiced for about a year. In 1969, they purchased a small practice from Dr. Richard Bevil in Sesser, Illinois. In 1971, they had their first child, Virginia, and in 1975, their son John. They built a new practice on the west side of 148 in 1976 that serves as the current standard of care that the practice provides.