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Charles Minge

March 18, 1945-Jan. 12, 2008

Charles H.L. "Chuck" Minge, 62, of Perham, died Saturday, January 12, 2008.

Charles Harold Leonard Minge was born the son of Leonard and Evelyn (Dobes) Minge on March 18, 1945, in Shakopee, Minn. He lived in Jordan, Minn., until 1951, was baptized at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and moved to Delano, Minn., at the age of 6. He was confirmed at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Delano. Chuck went to country school and then to Delano High School.

Chuck married Mae Opsahl in 1963, but later divorced. They had six terrific children: Aleisa, Patrecia, Teresa, Cloresa, Malissa, and Jason. Chuck and his father operated a construction business, and later he farmed. In 1973 he purchased and remodeled the Red Otter in Ottertail, Minn. He built the motel and called this venture the Otter Supper Club and Motel. Upon selling this business, he moved to Fergus Falls, and started a new business venture which he named The Butcher, The Baker Family Restaurant.

Later he went into partnership with Westridge Mall and built and operated The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Lounge. In 1979 he purchased the Raven Supper Club in Perham. He remodeled and named this business Cactus Gardens Supper Club and Saloon. Later, he built The Corral and brought such national acts to the Perham area as The Judds, Sylvia, Shelly West, The Statler Brothers, Count Basie Orchestra, and Boxcar Willie, to name a few.

The bowling alley started construction in 1985. He also started a food processing plant in the Industrial Park in Perham called Chucky's Country Cooking. Along with this came another business venture known as Dandy Deli; a home delivery food service similar to Schwan's. In August 1989, Chuck married Brenda Kleve and inherited a wonderful stepdaughter, Michelle (Sonnenberg). They purchased and remodeled what is known as Spanky's Stone Hearth and Hilltop Lounge, which they operated for 16 years.

Chuck and Brenda were blessed with two outstanding children, Blake and Blossom. Chuck started Backhoe Services, which designed and installed septic systems. During this time, Chuck and Brenda purchased the Palace Café in Frazee. They remodeled and renamed it The Cedar Inn Café. They then purchased the Baer Building on the corner of Lake and Main Street in Frazee. This complex housed many different enterprises, including Bloomin' Blossoms Ice Cream Parlor, Carlito's Mexican Restaurant, Tall Timber Gift Shoppe, Chubby Chuckies Pizza and the Sky View Theatre, along with eight apartments upstairs.

After a devastating fire on Dec. 26, 2001, caused by a faulty water heater installation, the Cedar Inn was lost. It was replaced by a new office building and upstairs apartment. Carlito's became Cedarlitos Family Restaurant and they tried to resurrect the Sky View Theatre. When this attempt seemed to be futile, the theater was replaced with Pork's Pub. This business was later sold, as was Spanky's.

Chuck and Brenda attempted to retire, but Chuck's true entrepreneurism came shining through and they purchased Sparetime Bar & Grill in Perham, which they remodeled and renamed the Cactus. They then began construction of a 74-unit Park Model Community and Resort. Construction of the seven-unit deluxe suite lodge, four condos and swimming pool, whirlpool, and fitness center was about two weeks away from completion when on Dec. 24, 2007, a fire destroyed the entire complex.

Chuck's love of people and his vivacious personality will truly be missed by his family and friends and all his faithful customers over the past 35 years.

Chuck is survived, and will be deeply missed by his wife of 18 years, Brenda; children, Blake and Blossom Minge of Perham, Michelle (Chad) Sonnenberg of Frazee, Aleisa (Dave II) Jopp, also of Frazee, Patrecia (Lenny) Rutledge of Hutchinson, Minn., Cloresa (Tom) Black, also of Hutchinson, Teresa (Eric) Edwards of Lakeville, Minn., Malissa (Dan) Kellerman of Hutchinson, and Jason Minge of Detroit Lakes; 14 grandchildren; his mother, Evelyn; sisters, Grace (Elmer) Jabs of Jordan, Darlene (Erv) Wachmann of Delano, Beatsie (Roger) Frederick of Vining, Minn., and Sonja (Louis) Gunkel of Henning, Minn.; brothers-in-law, Bill Lenz and Randy (Cindy) Kleve of Cold Spring, Minn.; sisters-in-law, Linda (Greg) Beckrich of Rockville, Minn., LouAnn (Jim) O'Connor and Lisa (Dave) Rarick, both of Cold Spring, Peggy (Craig) Frederick of Vining and Pam (Curt) Karls of Cold Spring; as well as father and mother-in-law, Raymond and Madeline Kleve of Cold Spring.

Preceding Chuck in death were his father, Leonard; a sister, Carol Lenz; and an infant brother, Leslie.

Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham, with a prayer service at 7 p.m., and continuing for one hour prior to the start of services Wednesday at the church.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Calvary Lutheran Church, Perham. Schoeneberger Funeral Home, Perham, is in charge of the arrangements. Online tributes may be posted at the Web site,