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Charles Eginton

Geese everywhere breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when one of their arch enemies passed away. Charles Eginton never did have a bad day hunting. It was a passion he loved sharing with friends and family.

Charles was born on Feb. 15, 1914, in Staples, Minn., to Charles and Helen (Simerman) Eginton and died on Feb. 25, 2010, at age 96 in Fergus Falls, Minn., at the Minnesota Veterans Home, resident of Detroit Lakes.

He grew up in St. Paul and attended both Macalester College and the U of MN. He was a Phi Beta Kappa member. Athletics included swimming, basketball, and baseball.

He also had a passion for his profession as a surgeon. He graduated from U of MN medical school a member of AOA. As always, he was first in his class. Charles trained in surgery at the U of MN with Owen Wangensteen as his mentor. He then did a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic with James Priestley as his mentor. He remained a lifelong member of the Priestley society.

From the Mayo clinic, he went into service in the Army Medical Corps during WWII. His hospital was in the Yukon Territory for construction of the Alaskan Highway. While there he also cared for the Thlinget Indians. He was quite proud that they made him an honorary tribal member. However, he was upset that his totem represented a thief. He understood when they explained that he was a thief from death.

After his discharge from the Army, he practiced in St. Paul for many years before becoming the chief of staff and chief of surgery at the Fargo Veterans Hospital. Under his leadership, generations of other surgeons were trained to care for the sick and injured.

In retirement, he was active in the Detroit Lakes Methodist Church. He enjoyed participating in, and sometimes dominating, the discussions in the church groups. The question "Does God exist?" led to his interest in the Great Think Off. He enjoyed the mental exercise and attention as a winner. Charles was a voracious reader and avid puzzle fan. Charles was a lifelong Mason.

He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and sister, Dorothy Halberg.

He is survived by his wife, Sally; two daughters, Nancy Eginton, Lutz, Fla., Julie (Rick) Cogger, Detroit Lakes; three sons, Charles W. Eginton, Sunshine Lake, Minn., Bill (Kay) Eginton, North Little Rock, Ark., Mark (Joleen) Eginton, Duluth; 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Memorial service: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at 11 a.m. in the United Methodist Church, Detroit Lakes.

Visitation: One hour prior to the service.

Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the messages of sympathy section at

West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes is taking care of arrange-ments.