Charles O. Stemsrud, age 86, died at his home on May 25, 2018.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 2pm at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank. Visitation will take place from 12 to 2pm at the church on Tuesday. Pastor Caleb Schewe will officiate and interment will be in the Milbank City Cemetery.
Charles O. Stemsrud was born on January 27, 1932, in Madison, MN. He was the son of Oliver and Ione (Anderson) Stemsrud. He was baptized on March 26, 1932 and confirmed on May 20, 1945. Charles graduated from Dawson High School in 1949. He was united in marriage with Marilyn Mertens on January 23, 1954. Charles served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict; he was stationed at the 43rd MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) from 1954-1955. He was honorably discharged and returned to South Dakota.
Charles settled his family in the Stockholm area and worked for Stockholm Hardware. He farmed near Milbank for three years, then founded Stockholm Refrigeration. It came into being by stages, beginning when he purchased the Stockholm Hardware inventory from Fred Downes in 1963, and moved the hardware goods to the former Stockholm Creamery building which he had purchased in 1961. In 1965, the business was renamed Stockholm Refrigeration as the repair and sales of bulk milk tanks had taken precedence. In 1970, the hardware inventory was phased out and the former creamery building was sold to the Stockholm-Strandburg Telephone Company.
After the record snowfall in 1968-69, the bulk tanks had to be dug out from under the snow, a large building was erected north of Stockholm along Highway 20. The sale of dairy equipment was added to the business. In 1976, another large storage building was erected on the site. He operated the business until 1982.
Charles was a faithful member of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank. He served as an Elder for many years and also taught Bible classes. He was a member of the American Legion, Stockholm-Strandburg Post #171. Charles was a member of the Stockholm Town Board and served on the board of directors of Community State Bank in Stockholm.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marilyn; two daughters: Sheree (Todd) Keller of Twin Brooks, SD; and Rebecca (Mark) Sankey of Chandler, MN; son, Steven (Robin) Stemsrud of Stockholm, SD; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister, Gwen LeFevre of St. Paul, MN; sister-in-law, Marilyn R. Stemsrud of Stockholm, SD; and many nieces and nephews.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents: Oliver and Ione; and brother, John Stemsrud.