Charles B. WoldenFebruary 21, 1949 ~ December 30, 2016 (age 67)
Charles (Charlie) Bernard Wolden
February 21, 1949 ~ December 30, 2016 (age 67)
Charles (Charlie) Bernard Wolden was born February 21, 1949, in Superior, WI. The tenth of thirteen children to Vernon and Irene (Fair) Wolden. Charlie grew up working on the farm with his 12 siblings and cutting pulp with his father in Poplar, WI. When Charlie was 12, his father handed him a rifle and told him to “put food on the table”, thus his love of hunting began and continued to the day before his death.
After graduating from Northwestern High School in 1967, Charlie enlisted in the USMC for four years. He served our country in Vietnam receiving the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Rifle Marksman Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation and Purple Heart for wounds suffered during the battle of Hue. Charlie fought in the Tet Offensive, the bloodiest fighting of the Vietnam War that took the lives of nearly 1,000 Americans a week.
Following his release from the USMC, Charlie returned to his home in Superior, WI. Where he joined the Air Force ROTC. Attended the University of Wisconsin, Superior. Graduating with honors with a double major in History and Geography.
Charlie then began his active duty in the USAF. Becoming a B-52 Pilot and later a Strategic Bomber Instructor. Earning numerous Medals, Citations, Campaign Awards, as well as the Presidential Air Medal for flying a thirty-six nonstop classified mission to Egypt in a show of force. Major Charles Wolden retired from the Air Force in 1988 after serving 18 years.
Once again, Charlie returned to his beloved home in Wisconsin where he attended the University of Wisconsin Superior earning his Master Degree in Counseling.
Charlie was hired by Polk County Department of Human Services in 1991 working as a Juvenile Social Worker until he opened his own Counseling Center (Counseling Associates) with partner Cindy Klien. Then opened a series of clinics in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Charlie became an expert psychotherapist working with combat veterans and perpetrators of domestic violence.
Charlie was a forming member of the Polk County Task force against domestic violence.
Charlie began yet another career, as Team Leader for the Milwaukee Vet Center, one of the system of walk-in, storefront counseling centers started by US Secretary of Veteran Affairs Max Cleland, under President Carter and then U.S. Senator from Georgia - a man who Wolden helped rescue after Cleland's legs and one of his arms were blown off by a grenade in Vietnam.
Charlie went on to open many Vet Center across Wisconsin. Then worked as Team Leader in Duluth, MN., and Escanba, Michigan Vet Centers until his retirement a few years ago.
Locally, Charlie served on the Frederic Village Board eventually became the Village President. He also ran twice unsuccessfully for the Wisconsin State Assembly. He was involved in the VFW, American Legion, President of Pheasants Forever, served as Chair to the Polk County Democratic Party for many years. Served on both US Senator Herb Kohl and US Senator Russ Feingold Veterans Advisory Boards. Worked tirelessly for Democratic Candidates such as Congressman Dave Obey, Congressman Ron Kind, and Lt Governor Barbara Lawton. He also traveled around Wisconsin on the campaign trail with US Senator John Kerry when the Senator was running for President.
Charlie was an active hunter and fisherman. Many times catching fish to clean and take to friends and neighbors just to be kind soul. He was also very active in politics during his lifetime. However, his most beloved past time was spending time with his children and grandchildren and his trusted companion Beezer. A major Minnesota Viking fan he passed away still waiting for that big Super Bowl win. His other enjoyment in life was reading and playing board games with his children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. However, his real true mission in life was to help all our Veterans adjust from returning home from war.
Charlie was married to Janet Kelton, retired Victim Witness Coordinator for the Polk County District Attorney Office. They have four children, Abby Wolden Sears, Portland, OR., Matt Wolden and David Derrickson, Portland, OR. Alex and Kris (Lloyd) Wolden, Portland, OR., and Adam and Janelle (Yakymi) Cress, Prior Lake, MN. Grandchildren, Ellie and Brody Sears, Portland, OR. Roman Yakymi and William Cress, Prior Lake, MN.
He is survived by five brothers, Frank, Walter, John, Jim, and Tony and sisters, June, Jane, Fran, and Alice and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Irene Wolden, sisters, Linda Wolden Carlson, Marian Wolden Banks, and Lois Wolden.
The memorial service for Charles will be 11:00 A.M. Friday January 6, 2017 at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Frederic. The visitation will begin at 9:00 A.M. until the time of the service. Family and friends are invited to join Charlie's family for a luncheon and continued fellowship in the church hall. Burial and Military Honors will be accorded at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, Wisconsin at 2:30 P.M. following the luncheon gathering. All are invited to join the family.
In Lieu of flowers and plants it was Charlie’s wish that donations be sent to Polk County Veterans Office, care of Rick Gates
The Kolstad Family Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. www.kolstadfamilyfuneralhome.com