Charlotte Van Laecken


Laecken 26    Charlotte Van Laecken, 96, of Mitchell, formerly of Letcher, died Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, at Avera Bormann Manor in Parkston.
Funeral services were Monday, Feb. 13, at the Letcher Community Church in Letcher, with burial at West Lawn Cemetery in Letcher. Visitation with a 7 p.m. prayer service was Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Will Funeral Chapel in Mitchell.
Charlotte Van Laecken was born Aug. 12, 1920, to Wyman and Donna (Lybarger) Phinney in Alpena. She grew up on a farm southwest of Huron, attended country school and attended high school in Huron for two years and Alpena for two years, where she graduated. Charlotte’s mother died in 1934, so she stayed home with her father, brothers and sisters while working in homes in Huron.
Charlotte was united in marriage with Albert Van Laecken on Oct. 24, 1942, in Loomis. The couple lived on a farm near Letcher and moved into Letcher in 1944. Charlotte worked several years at Stach’s Grocery in Letcher, and at Randalls, Bennett’s, and Herter’s in Mitchell. She also worked as a janitor at the Letcher auditorium and enjoyed doing painting jobs with her husband for several years.
She was a member of the Letcher Community Church, helping with church bazaars, and was a member of the Letcher Senior Citizens and the Letcher Auxiliary. In her younger years, Charlotte enjoyed ceramics and raising flowers and plants, especially African violets. She moved to Mitchell in 1998 and was a Watkins, Fuller Brush and Stanley distributor.
Charlotte is survived by her seven children, Ronnie (Rosemary) Van Laecken of Watertown, Donna Lepke of Mitchell, Dennis (Cindy) Van Laecken of Phoenix, Ariz., Robbie (Joanne) Van Laecken of Parkston, Kathy (Edwin) Irving of Huron, Patrick Van Laecken of Mitchell, and Penny Bjerrum of Sioux Falls; 17 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; four great great-grandchildren; and one sister, Betty Holforty of Mitchell.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; two brothers, Keith and Lyle Phinney; one sister, Darlene Tastad; two twin brothers in infancy; two sons-in-law, Al Bjerrum and Dick Lepke; and a great-granddaughter, Anna Lepke.

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