Charles Dale Larsen was born Oct. 9, 1948 in Yankton, S.D. to Earl and Clara (Schoppert) Larsen. He farmed with his dad, driving tractor at an early age and helping with field work. Working with his dad was very precious to him.
He attended country school and graduated from Freeman High School where he excelled in football. During the end of high school, he met the love of his life, Jeraine Larsen, and they were married Oct. 28, l967. He was also in the Army National Guard at this time serving in Company C of the 153rd Engineering Battalion at Parkston, S.D. and was very proud to serve from 1967 to 1973.
Over the next busy years of farming, trucking, and chores, three children were born. Darrell, Amie, and Daniel. In 1978, his beloved father passed away at the age of 68 and he lost his farming companion and best friend. His mother passed away in 2008 at the age of 92.
It was decided several years later to discontinue farming and he started driving truck for Tote in Freeman, S.D. In 1993, he started his own company, Larsen Trucking. He continued trucking until the last day Oct. 7, 2019, where he passed away in his truck from a massive heart attack at the age of 70, two days before his birthday.
He enjoyed his friends and took time most every day to visit them at Casey’s, Total Stop or more importantly, his shop. There he had the chance to work with his boys, repairing or maintaining the trucks. Amie would often join them there and had endless conversations over the phone with her dad.
His talent besides driving truck was repairing and fixing them and tractors or anything else needing repair. He was the family mechanic. Seldom was there a problem he couldn’t repair and make as good as new. He had a second sense in that all you had to do was tell him the symptoms or noises and he could tell you what was wrong, take it apart, fix it, and put it back together. He enjoyed the challenge immensely and really had a gift for it which he passed on to his boys.
He also enjoyed participating in the Labor Day plowing and was very proud of his tractors and collection of plows. Some of dad’s finest hours were yearly trips to Prairie Village with Amie, spending the day together watching the plowing and walking through the flea market and buying something quirky for his wife. It was important to him to pack a picnic lunch and to get the golf cart loaded and ready to go.
Several years ago, he committed his life to Christ. He attended church at Salem Lutheran of rural Freeman and was treasurer and then president. He and Jeraine then joined Grace Lutheran in Menno, S.D., where their grandchildren attended.
He enjoyed watching westerns, especially “Gunsmoke,” spending time with his family and his cherished pets, which he had a soft heart for. Charles could be seen here, there, and everywhere in the blue Peterbilt conventional, the brown Peterbilt cabover, or his red chevy pickup at a modest speed of no more than 60 mph.
Charles had carotid surgery and last March needed two stents. This may have slowed him down, but certainly didn’t keep him from doing the things he loved.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Jeraine; children: Darrell, Amie (Scott Muller) and Daniel (Michelle Swenson); grandchildren: Mindy (Andy) Spangler, Taylor Fischer and Charlotte Larsen; great-grandchildren: Katie, Andrew and Jonathan Spangler, and Rilynn and Maci Soukup.
Charles had a unique personality and always made sure you felt like you were home. If you needed help, something fixed, or just to chat, he was there. He will be so greatly missed as he was a special husband, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend to all and our special mechanic. His journey through his life has ended. He is home.