Charles Melvin Dahlgrin left for his Heavenly home on Sept. 24, 2016, in Townsend, Mont. The past seven years he enjoyed living at the Memorial Home in Edmore, N.D. He had great care, and most important to him, freedom to decide what to do each day!
He was born in Gordon, Neb., April 2, 1928, to Thelma and Melvin Dahlgrin, who were second generation Sandhill ranchers southeast of Merriman. He had an independent spirit, was encouraged early to take responsibility, as was his younger sister Irma. They often rode their horse from the west place, a mile down the valley to visit grandma and later on, to school.
Charles went to Gordon High School and “boarded out” during the week, like most country kids, graduating in 1945, at age 17. He went home to the ranch, as their dad wasn’t well. Two years later, his sister attended business school in Omaha, and as she finished, asked her roommates to write to her brother and his single friend helping him on the ranch, as she thought their social life was limited.
Vera Hankins was the one he wrote back. They exchanged letters and she visited in August. He flew his light plane back to Illinois in September to ask for her hand, then his parents, sister and brother-in-law Jay Webster, drove east in October, to witness and celebrate as they were married the 31st, 1948.
Vera and Chuck raised their family on the ranch and enjoyed relatives from both sides helping with the year round activities. There was a sandy roping arena between the house and barn, with an airplane hanger in the east half. Local rodeos and ropings, hunting coyotes with greyhounds, flying to visit relatives filled his free time.
Neighbors had moved in five miles east and asked the American Sunday School Union to begin Sunday School and home Bible studies in the winters. While studying the book of Romans, in 1955, Charles made a personal decision to follow Christ. After that Bible study, prayer and worship was a priority.
The summer of 1968, the family sold the ranch to buy in Manitoba. He later worked for missionary friends in Ontario and then came back to Nebraska to farm or ranch. In 1978 they moved to Montana, they owned and operated a motel two different times, and a Mode O’Day clothing store in two cities. Chuck got back into daily ranch life after retiring from the last motel, coming to Big Timber to help Marie’s family, then to the Winston area near Jolyn.
While living in Canada, son Michael met and married a Canadian gal, so there were lots of trips to visit that family, from Tennessee to Alaska, British Columbia to Saskatoon.
The last big adventure with Vera was to the small acreage near Granbury, Texas. They enjoyed a new Cowboy Church at the fairgrounds, two warm winters, and Suzie moved with them to help. Vera passed away the spring of 2009 after a short illness. Chuck returned to Montana, spending time with each child. Then he checked into the best little home in North Dakota on Sept. 23, 2009.
Charles’ family who celebrate his life are daughter Marie(Rick) Schuler, Big Timber, Mont.; grandchildren Gena(Ben)Lager; their children Josiah, Gabriel, Lydia, Gideon, Job, Jebediah; Brad(Rebekah)Schuler; their son Samson, all of Billings, Mont.; Zane Schuler of Big Timber, Mont.; son Michael Dahlgrin, Nelson, British Columbia; grandchildren: Heather Dahlgrin, her daughter Azalea(Josh); great-grandson Caleb, and sons Ezra, Baebron of Nelson, British Columbia; Jeremy Dahlgrin, his sons Joshua, Cruze, Kye of Saskatoon, British Columbia; Marie Nies, and her children Madeline and Evan of Bellingham, Wash.; daughter Suzie(Jeff) Biggins of Billings, Mont.; grandson Jared Reichert, Gillette, Wyo.; great-grandson Adam of Sheridan, Wyo.; daughter Jolyn(Jay)Karp; grandchildren Jess Karp, all of Winston, Mont.; Katie Jo(Kit)Moldenhauer, their children Chasidy, Rylan, Rafe, Everly, of Belfry, Mont.; Lindsay(Jesse)Kruse, their children Paisley and Kree of Winston, Mont.
Sister Irma(Jay)Webster; niece Carol(Bob)Child, and family of Gordon, Neb. Nephew Scott(Lola)Webster, and family of Manitoba, Canada.
A memorial service was held at the Evangelical Church in Big Timber, Mont. on Oct. 15, 2016. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, at Gordon Memorial Cemetery in Gordon, Neb. A luncheon will follow at the Presbyterian Church fellowship room.