Charles Clifford Kirchenwitz was born September 28, 1942, in Perham, MN to Henry and Phyllis (Priest) Kirchenwitz. Charlie passed away peacefully at the age of 79 on January 30, 2022, at home surrounded by family, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Charlie was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dent, MN. He went to school until 8th grade at Pleasant Prairie School just west of the home farm. Charlie graduated high school in Perham in 1960. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and was on active duty from 1960 to 1963. During his service he served on the admiral staff of a cruiser and destroyer flotilla during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a Radarman 2nd class. Even while serving in the Navy, he always found a way to be at the home farm for Christmas. He had many stories of adventures hitchhiking back and forth. Charlie was lucky to be able to say he never missed Christmas at the home place in 79 years. After the Navy he returned home and worked at Land O'Lakes in Perham. On December 26, 1964, Charlie married Sandy Lynn Satter at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids, MN. The couple lived in Perham for four years before moving to Dent in 1968. During the late 60s and early 70s Charlie managed a liquor store in Dent. From the late 70s to early 80s he managed a beer distributorship in New York Mills, MN. Over the years he had some short business ventures like a woodshop in Dent and was part owner of Dent Lakes Granite. In the early 90s Charlie started Countryside Tree Service with his brother-in-law Mark Satter. They worked many years together until eventually they each took a part of the business separately. Charlie was trimming trees until he passed away. He also had two long-term artistic careers. Charlie had a band called the Country Ramblers for over 30 years with wife Sandy, his dad Henry, good friends Norb and Carol Benke, and many others. They played many nights a year, and for a time, had a radio show on a Fergus Falls, MN radio station called the Saturday Night Jamboree. He was also a chainsaw carver during most of the years he was trimming trees. He really enjoyed attending carving shows with Sandy in those years. Charlie loved watching his grandchildren play sports or participate in other events. For many years he was a baseball umpire for many different Dent teams. Charlie enjoyed deer hunting with the "old crew" and the new. He very much enjoyed trips to Colorado to elk hunt with a special set of friends. He greatly loved playing cards and games. At the Satter's they played poker and at the Kirchenwitz's they would play whist or smear. The last several years there was a regular Friday night session of Mexican Train. Charlie would say to someone he was beating during the game, "We are just here for the fellowship!" but he only said that while he was winning the game. He loved taking the boat out on Tenter Lake and fishing for sunfish or bass. He also loved just sitting by the fire at the lake. Charlie was a kind person and had a hard time ever saying no to anyone.
Charlie is survived by his sons Patrick (Lori) Kirchenwitz, Jason (Julie) Kirchenwitz, and Justin (Megan) Kirchenwitz; his daughter Heather Kirchenwitz; grandchildren Dakotah, Cogan, Cole, Jenna, Jamie, Jesse, Kaylie, Emily, Cash, Aiden, and Paige; his brothers-in-law Dave (JoAnn) Satter and Mark (Vicki) Satter; sisters-in-law Barb (Ray) Kassahn and Shirley (Rocky) Hill; cousin Ken (Cory) Kirchenwitz; close family friend Lydia Humbeck; along with many nieces, nephews, family, and friends.
Charlie was preceded in death by his wife Sandy; his parents Henry and Phyllis Kirchenwitz; his father and mother-in-law Arnie and Edna Satter; his sister Karol Kirchenwitz; sisters-in-law Judy Satter and Jean Satter; brothers-in-law Les Satter and Rodney Hovden; granddaughter Larissa Kirchenwitz; cousin Clifford Poll; and special aunt Ida Poll.
Visitation will be 4:00-8:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 on Friday, February 4 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dent. Visitation will resume beginning at 10:00 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11:00 on Saturday, February 5 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Perham. Burial and military honors will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Dent.
Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service, Perham, MN (218) 346-5175 www.schoenebergerfh.com