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Charles F. LeFevre

Charles F. LeFevre

Charles Frederick LeFevre died January 20, 2023, of Alzheimer’s on his farm outside of Menomonie, Wisconsin. He was 91. Charlie was born in Northville, South Dakota, to Dacotah and Henry Guy LeFevre. He’s preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Margaret (Peggy) Stevens. He’s survived by his wife Barbara Anderson, daughter Camille LeFevre, son Charles Lee LeFevre, as well as his older sister Elizabeth (Betsy) Swanson, younger brother Paul LeFevre, along with many beloved nieces and nephews.

His childhood was spent hunting and farming. He drove “school bus” during high school, and graduated first in his class of 13. The summer after he graduated, he finished up combining, showed up at South Dakota State University (SDSU) the day before classes started, and registered. His college career was interrupted by two years in the army as a food inspector in Bentonville AK. Four more years of study resulted in double Masters degrees in animal nutrition and organic chemistry, his thesis was on cellulose digestion in an artificial rumen. Charlie met his first wife, Gwen Stemsrud LeFevre, at SDSU. The couple first lived in New Ulm, Minnesota, where Charlie worked at Vigorena Feeds and Camille was born. They then moved to Springfield, Minnesota, where Lee was born. In the early 1960s, the family moved to Black River Falls, Wisconsin, where Charlie worked at the local feed mill. In 1964, due to his lack of tolerance for the corporate world, he started his own business: Veterinarian Indorsed Products. V I P was a specialized blend of minerals and vitamins formulated by Charlie to increase the health and productivity of the dairy herd.   In addition, Charlie’s professional and common-sense nutritional advice benefitted dairymen region wide and added greatly to the profitability of the farm.

In 1977, Charlie moved to Menomonie after his divorce. Friends lied about his age and hooked him up on a blind date with Barbara Anderson; they became inseparable. They built their current home, Char-Bar Ranch, and married in 1981. Charlie was a Rotarian for over 50 years and is a founding member of the Menomonie Sunrise Club.

The couple own a home in Sedona, Arizona, where Charlie loved to hike, go dancing, cook family dinners, spend time with his son and daughter, and visit with nieces and nephews. Charlie and Barb traveled around the world. He hunted deer on his Wisconsin property and pheasant in South Dakota; enjoyed his wide circle of friends; and loved meat—more precisely steak. He also loved his cows and sheep, dogs and cats, farm life, and buying and selling real estate. He was a devoted father and husband, prolific cusser, trickster, and otherwise unforgettable character. He is beloved and deeply, profoundly missed.

There will be a celebration of life/family reunion this summer. Memorials should be directed toward the Rotary Club of Menomonie Sunrise Foundation, PO Box 145, Menomonie WI. 54751. The foundation will lead a great community project in Charlie’s name.

Condolences

  1. Jan Morlock

    Barb, it was you and Charlie that introduced us to the Menomonie area 30+ years ago when we visited you at Char-Bar in Weston. I thought I was in heaven when you showed us the clear water spring in your back yard and gathered watercress out there for the dinner you made for us that night. It felt magical, like we had gone to visit you and Charlie in Middle Earth. The world was never colorless when we were in conversation with Charlie. He knew everyone and had an opinion on most things. You and Charlie are such vivid characters--both very much your own people and remarkable partners at the same time. It's been a joy to know you and Charlie. Our hearts are with you at this time.

  2. Court Sand

    Barb, All of us will surely miss Charlie, but we are left with the fondest of memories of him. I will always remember talking with him while we worked on projects at Caddie Woodlawn Park. Conversation with him was terrific. What a terrific person.

  3. Kay

    I'm so sorry to hear the loss of Charlie!!! I loved seeing him at Our House when I went to visit mom. He always put a smile on my face. He will be truly missed by all.
    Kay

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