Charles John Rousu was born in Becker County, MN, (rural Callaway) on March 12, 1930 to Ale and Emma Rousu. He attended country school in Sugarbush Township for eight grades and then the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture at Grand Rapids, MN for High School. He was a good student and he enjoyed school; later he took a course in real estate from NDSU. He was a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Callaway.
He served in the US Army for two years, and was in the Korean War with the 3rd Infantry Division. He attained the rank of sergeant. He often referred to himself as an “old vet” with patriotic pride. After his tour of duty, he worked in the iron ore mines of Minnesota and the gold mines of South Dakota, before starting to farm in Sugarbush Township of Becker County.
On January 15, 1957, he married Joyce LaGoo. In addition to farming and trapping, he sold property insurance for Lake Park & Cuba Insurance of Lake Park, MN. He also started a business called “Minnesota Aquatic Nurseries” which dealt with wild rice, sago, wild celery and other duck related plants. With his son, Mike, he harvested wild rice all over Northern Minnesota-- the company is still in existence today and he filled orders in 2021.
On October 17, 1980, Charles married Jennie Schuler, and Fargo provided a new outlet for his entrepreneurship. While continuing his Minnesota activities, he tried various things including getting licensed as a federal firearms dealer. (He has been retired from that for many years.) He also enjoyed holding rummage sales in his garage and made many friends while doing them. People looked forward to them and often asked him when he was going to do another one. He played guitar, accordion, piano, and harmonica and liked to sell them via garage sales, and when they were being “tried out” there was often a mini-concert going on. The camaraderie of the men and others who stopped in to buy or visit made his garage sales very special. Charlie always had a positive outlook toward young people too, and they liked him. One of his favorite songs was, “Keep on The Sunny Side,” and this was kind of his philosophy of life along with his desire to serve God and country. Also, he had a heart for humanity and was a dedicated conservationist/naturalist.
Charlie passed away on October 18, 2021, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, due to COVID-19 complications. His survivors include: his wife, Jennie, Fargo, ND; children: Cindy Rousu, Las Vegas, NV; Debra (Robert) LaRiccia, Spencer, OH; Michael (Julie) Rousu, Callaway; Keenan (Renae) Schuler, New London, WI; William Tyson Schuler, Fargo; Erich (Kristi) Schuler, Bedford, TX; Grandchildren: Megan Rousu, Marissa Rousu, Callaway; Margo (HJ) Gerdes, Detroit Lakes, MN; Ally Rousu, Detroit Lakes; Andrew “Drew” Wollin, Fargo; Aaron Schuler, New London; Matthew Schuler, Kalamazoo, MI; Rachel Schuler, New London; Lucas Schuler, Bedford; great-granchild: Aurora Dawn Rousu, Callaway, MN; sisters: Mimi Luedtke, Mahnomen, MN; Phyllis St. Claire, Callaway; Claire Hill, Aitkin, MN; Jean Johnson, Callaway, MN; Patsy Johnson, Maple Grove, MN; sister-in-law: Sue Rousu, Ogema, MN; brothers: Tom (Lee) Rousu; David (Delores) Rousu; Paul (Margie) Rousu, all of Callaway; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Patsy; his parents; brothers: Timothy, George, and Dan Rousu; sisters: Donna (Neil) Wayman; Blanche (John) Niemi; and his daughter, Emily Wollin.
Services have been held.
Arrangements entrusted to Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Fargo, ND.