Charles Edward “Chuck” Aase, age 82, died on September 11, 2019. He was born in Sioux Falls, SD, on July 14, 1937 and adopted two months later by Leland and Lowena Aase. He and his big sister Janet grew up in and around Pierre, SD, a city he loved. Chuck graduated from T.F. Riggs High in 1955 and from Luther College in 1959. He spent a memorable year working for a Lutheran youth center in the English midlands before attending Luther Seminary. He received his Master of Divinity and was ordained on June 21, 1964.
Chuck’s first call took him to Longville, MN, where he met 19-year-old Diane Workman in the summer of 1966. They were married on August 4, 1967 and spent the next 52 years together. Chuck’s next call took them to Akron, OH, where daughters Sara and Laura were born. Next came a call in Independence, MO, and the birth of their third daughter Andrea. In 1977, the Aases moved to Barnesville, MN, and in 1986 to Virginia, MN. Chuck’s final call was at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salina, KS, in 1991, where he served until 2002.
Chuck and Diane retired to Coeur d’Alene, ID, and lived there very happily until 2008 when they moved back to Minnesota to be near Andrea and Sara, her husband Lars Ostrom, and their two children, Mason and Sadie. In 2017, Laura married John Heille of Fairmont, MN, and Chuck and Diane gained three more grandkids: Faith, Gracia, and Norah.
What people remember most about Chuck is his knowing grin, contagious laugh, sly sense of humor, and the sheer delight he took in living. His strength as a person and a pastor was his love for all people and the stories they told. It is not a coincidence that two of his favorite beverages, coffee and beer, have strong ties to fellowship and conversation. Many remember his sermons because of his unique ability to connect scripture to the complicated realities of life. And even in retirement, he visited members of his congregation at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church until the age of 81.
The joys Chuck found in life were numerous. He loved the Minnesota Vikings intensely, becoming pen pals with coach Mike Tice at one point. (The last game he watched was a decisive victory.) He was an avid runner. He baked award-winning bread and brewed his own beer. He loved reading, especially J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He possessed a striking tenor voice and took great pleasure in singing and dancing. He had a passion for cars, driving stick, and taking his family on road trips during which they “made great time” (by not stopping). He loved the wide open plains and the big sky. He loved sharing stories, jokes, and sayings, both in person and on Facebook. He loved being a pastor. He loved his family and friends deeply. And he will be deeply missed.
Chuck’s memorial service will be 3:00PM Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Luther Seminary’s CHAPEL OF THE INCARNATION, 2481 Como Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, with visitation beginning at 1:00PM.
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