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Charles Leraas, 64

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Charles "Charlie" Leraas, 64, rural Barrett, died peacefully Sunday, March 1, 2009 at his home.

Charles was born September 25, 1944 in Fergus Falls to Olaf J. and Alice (Thompson) Leraas. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lien Township and graduated from Barrett High School in 1963. He attended Alexandria Technical College where he earned a two-year degree in industrial drafting. On October 4, 1966, Charles enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Philippines.

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On April 1, 1972, Charles married Marilyn Larson at the First Presbyterian Church in Elbow Lake. The couple lived on the family farm where they raised their children and operated a hog and grain farm. Charles also had a 37-year career driving school bus for the Barrett and West Central Area school districts.

Charles was a proud and dedicated father and grandfather. He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church and the Sandberg-Carlson American Legion Post. Gentle and hard-working, Charles enjoyed coin collecting, watching and feeding wild birds, and simply being outdoors. He and Marilyn enjoyed traveling together; the Lake Superior shore was one of his favorite destinations. Charles also loved animals, befriending and delighting in them wherever he went.

Charles is survived by his best friend and wife of 36 years, Marilyn; children, Krista of Minneapolis, Murray (Jessica) of Minneapolis, John (Melissa) and their children, Briauna and Rilynn of Delano, and Garik (Leslie) and soon-to-be-born baby boy, of Alexandria. Other survivors include his sisters, Beatrice (Dayle) DeFrance of Barrett and Doris Leraas of Minneapolis; one brother, Monroe (CoCo) Leraas of Julian, California; several nieces and nephews; his father and mother-in-law, Dale and Betty Larson of Fergus Falls; and sister-in-law, Vicki (Gary) Neuharth of Bismarck, North Dakota.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Olaf and Alice Leraas.

Funeral services for Charles were held March 5 at Peace Lutheran Church in Barrett with Pastors Cordell and Mary Carol Strug officiating. Burial was at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Barrett.

Arrangements are with Erickson-Smith Funeral Home in Elbow Lake. On-line condolences may be sent at www.ericksonsmithfh.com.

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