Charlene Romer, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and baker of cookies, age 92, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 10 at Serenity Assisted Living Center in Dilworth, Minnesota.
Charlene (aka Char, aka Har-la-Chene) was born to Oscar “Shorty” and Aquina (Halvorson) Larson of rural Hawley, Minnesota on September 5, 1929. She was the second of 10 children and the oldest girl in the brood, which included Jerry, Wayne, Lowell, Keith, Neil, Roger, Sharon, Kermit and June.
She was a tomboy growing up which fit right in with growing up on the farm where there were animals and siblings to tend to and play with. She attended Hawley Public Schools until 1947.
It was at school in Hawley where she met the love of her life, Duane “Sonny” Romer. They married on Christmas Day in 1948 and lived in Hawley with their six children: Julie, Nancy, Steve, Wayne, Scott and Kari.
She spent the early years of their marriage as a homemaker but began working at the Hawley Manor in the late 1960s and worked there for more than 35 years, rising every day at 5:30 a.m. for her shift. Her strength and dedication at work and at home served as a model for those around her and helped her get through two of the toughest losses any parent could face — the death of her son Scott in 1974 and daughter Kari in 2001. She remained devoted to their legacy and sharing their memories for the remainder of her life.
Charlene loved visiting with her siblings and their spouses, spending time with her kids and grandkids/great-grandkids/great-great grandkids and baking rolls, klubb, bars, fudge and cookies (among many other things). Getting one of her coveted cinnamon rolls before they were gone became a competitive sport when the Romer kids were young, with the boys snagging them before the girls more often than not. As a grandma, she fulfilled any request for cookies or dessert and always had a special treat in the fridge or in a Tupperware next to the toaster. All of her recipes have been passed on but will never have the same “grandma magic” she added to each one.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Sonny, parents, Oscar and Aquina, son Scott and daughter Kari, brothers Jerry, Wayne, Lowell, Keith and Roger, son-in-law Butch Cresap, brother-in-law Wally McDougall and sister-in-law Sharon. She is survived by children Julie (Butch) Cresap, Nancy (Barry) Thorvilson, Steve (Kathy) Romer and Wayne Romer; grandchildren Jason (Erica) Cresap, Jennifer (Eric) Cresap-Ista, and Jodi Cresap; Jeff (Sandy) Spry, Chad (Aimee) Spry, Laurie (Ken) Braun, Amy (Matt) Wilson and Mark Thorvilson; Chris Romer and Jessica Romer; Megan (Nick) Adamczyk, Gavin Romer and Brittany Romer; and Chelsey (Eric) Mikorski, Zach (Lauren) Olson, and Hannah Dittberner; 28 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren and her cherished brothers, sisters and brother-and sister-in-laws.
A special thank you to Serenity Assisted Living Center and the team that provided such loving care of both Sonny and Char in their final years.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, August 15, 2022 at 1:00 PM with a visitation one hour before the service at Wright Funeral Home, Hawley, MN.
Burial will follow at Hawley Cemetery.