Charles “Chuck” Roman Pelzl, age 93, passed peacefully into heaven on Sunday, February 7, 2021. He was born in New Ulm, MN, on October 16, 1927, to Theodore and Ruth Pelzl, the second of four boys. He attended DM Lutheran school, where his father taught. After high school, he attended Gustavus Adolphus College, interrupted by military service in the Army Air Forces near the end of WWII. After graduation, he continued on to the University of Minnesota Medical School, graduating in 1954. Chuck was married for over 64 years to Bettianne (Pearson), who he nicknamed and always called Tina. Together they raised four children: Brock, Barb, Roger, and Bob.
Chuck started his medical practice in Pine River in 1956, when he moved north to join his former classmate Denny Loftstrom. He and Tina planned to stay “for a year or so” but Pine River quickly became home. He continued his practice for 41 years and left a legacy of making house calls, attending home deliveries, performing surgeries, along with all things family medicine. He also spent many years teaching and mentoring medical students as they came to the clinic through the RPAP program. Rumor has it that he was caught speeding between Pine River and the Brainerd Hospital so many times that the highway patrol eventually issued him a “Medical Emergency” license plate for his car.
Chuck and Tina built their first home overlooking the Pine River where they enjoyed watching the river wildlife. It was their home for 55 years before they moved to Riverside Villas (“just a mile up river!”). They also built a cabin on Lower Hay Lake, where the family enjoyed spending their summers; and later purchased a wooded property — “the woods” — where Chuck enjoyed deer hunting and dabbling in forest management. Chuck loved the outdoors — he enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, swimming, water skiing, and snow skiing. He stayed active well into his 80s with nordic skiing in the winter and cycling in the summer. In his 90s he continued to cherish time spent at thecabin, especially when it included family, grilling, and boat rides. Chuck and Tina also enjoyed traveling and made several trips to Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, and Australia, along with trips around the US. They especially loved Australia, where they spent nine months after his retirement working in Australian clinics to fill in for vacationing doctors. Chuck and Tina were active members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church where he served for many years as an elder and also sang in the choir. He served many years on the school board and was active in the community in other ways. Some may remember his “Sven &
Ole” rendition or his “Womanless Wedding” performance with Don Robinson.
Chuck is survived by his children: Brock (Jodi Nelson), Barbara (Darrel) Goochey, Roger (Maria), and Robert; brothers Ted and David (Jan); grandchildren Kyle, Alex, Anna, Kristofer, Tiffany, Jeff, Christina, Emily, Joe, and James; and many great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, wife Tina, and brother Jim.
A visitation will be held from 1 to 4 PM on Saturday, February 13, at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River. A graveside service at Norwood Cemetery will be held at a later date.
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