Christine Marie (Ahrendt) Charles

Christine Marie (Ahrendt) Charles, 56, (Beloved Mother, Grandmother, and Sister) of Vermillion/Yankton area, passed away Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at her residence.

Christine was born Dec. 9, 1953 in Vermillion, to Delores (Hillery) and Ronald C. Ahrendt. She moved to California during her teen years but returned home to Vermillion as an adult.

Family was always Christine's priority. As the eldest of four children, Christine took on the role of leader/teacher/mother early in life. It was a role she assumed eagerly and was well suited to. She cared deeply for those she loved, if it can be said of anyone "they wore their heart on their sleeve, it can be said tenfold of Christine. If she loved and cared about someone, or some cause, it was evident to all who met her.

She loved her two children deeply and held them up as her greatest achievements. She beamed with pride at their every success and shed tears of sorrow at their losses as if they were her own loss.

She was overwhelmed with joy at the birth of every one of her grandchildren. Her greatest joy in recent years was spending time with her grandchildren and rejoicing in their company. She had just learned that she was about to become a great-grandmother and was excited about seeing a new generation begin.

She is survived by her children, Angela (Norman) Lee of Gayville, and Michael (Pamella) Millsap of Scotland; her father, Ronald C. Ahrendt of Citrus Heights, CA; her step-father, James Grabowski of Vermillion; her sisters, Teri (Richard) Heggestad of Vermillion, and Jeannie (Alva) Davis of Sioux Falls; her brother, Ronald W. Ahrendt of Vermillion; nine grandchildren, and one great-grandson; numerous of nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Charles and her mother, Delores Grabowski.

Funeral services were held at 11:30 a.m., Monday, March 22, 2010 at First Baptist Church, Vermillion with Rev. Elmer "Sandy" Aakre officiating. Burial was in Gayville Danish Cemetery, rural Gayville. Visitation was 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday, March 21, at Iverson-Siecke-Kober Funeral Home, Vermillion with a video tribute/prayer service at 7 p.m.

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