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Charlotte Fankhanel

Charlotte Fankhanel

Oct. 12, 1915-Oct. 21, 2013

Former Vergas resident Charlotte M. Fankhanel, 98, of Detroit Lakes, died Monday, October 21, 2013 at the Cottages of Ecumen in Detroit Lakes.

Charlotte Margaret Fankhanel was born to Henry and Hattie (Quiram) Hinze on October 12, 1915 in Vergas. She contracted polio shortly after taking her first steps, and spent numerous years as a patient at the Gillette State Hospital for Crippled Children in St. Paul.

Her parents would put her on the train to travel to St. Paul and she would very much look forward to the few times that they were able to visit. Long leg braces and casts were part of her early life, but that didn't prevent her from swimming in Long Lake and fishing with Kurt. She was determined not to be a cripple, even with one foot several sizes smaller than the other.

Charlotte graduated from Frazee High School in 1934. She then moved to St. Paul, where she worked as a medical secretary for over six years, at the same hospital where she spent so much of her childhood.

On August 26, 1940 she was united in marriage to Kurt W. Fankhanel in Nashua, Iowa. They made their home in Vergas. Charlotte worked alongside Kurt in the Fankhanel Corner Sweet Shop during the prohibition years, and the Fankhanel Tavern (now Billy's) until they sold it in 1971.

Charlotte was instrumental in organizing the first Boy Scout troop in Vergas. She enjoyed cooking and baking, and was known for her pies. She and Kurt also enjoyed traveling in their retirement years.

Surviving Charlotte are her son, Tom Fankhanel of Detroit Lakes; daughter-inlaw, Judy Fankhanel of Detroit Lakes; six grandchildren, Shawna Fankhanel, Katie (Mike) McGowan, Christine (Matthew Meyer) Fankhanel, David (Betsy) Fankhanel, Charles Fankhanel and Martin Fankhanel; five great grandchildren, Alexa and Carter McGowan, Neva Penelope and Bergen Kurt Fankhanel, and Mattole Stuart Meyer; and a sister-in-law, Alice Fankhanel of Perham.

Preceding her in death were her husband Kurt (2007); one son, Rev. Stuart Fankhanel; one sister, Lucile Fankhanel; one brother, Ambrose Hinze; and her parents.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 in St. John's Lutheran Church, Vergas, with visitation for one hour prior to services. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes.