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Pierre duCharme, age 79, of Dent, MN, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 1, 2022, surrounded by his family at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND.
Pierre Louis duCharme was born July 7th, 1943 to Louis N. duCharme and Monica McCarty duCharme, of Barnesville, MN. Pierre attended Barnesville High School, where he was active in sports and school activities. He met his wife, Mary (Frank) duCharme, during one of these events in Perham, MN while Mary was cheerleading and Pierre, playing on the basketball court. Being from rival schools didn’t make a difference to Dad. They were inseparable from that moment on, having just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary September 15th of this year.
Pierre graduated from North Dakota State University in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in teaching, but will most be remembered on campus for his athletic ability, as the quarterback and kicker on the Bison football team, hitting 3’s on the basketball court, and a catcher on the baseball field. There may still be a couple of stories from his fraternity that are still floating around as well. All of this while raising two young children during his college years. He told us, “once a Bison, always a Bison”, and influenced 3 of his grandchildren to attend NDSU as well.
Upon graduation, Pierre started his coaching career at Fargo South. His first head coaching position was at Dickinson High School, where he is still remembered for his high energy, his creative coaching style, and his winning green beanie he wore. Leaving Dickinson to continue his education, he studied at Northern State University, Aberdeen South Dakota, under the tutelage and mentorship of Bob Wachs. Graduating with his Master’s, he took over as head coach at Aberdeen Central. Many of his young players were still impacted by his leadership and continued to be friends and family throughout his life and career moves. After Aberdeen, Pierre moved his family to Mayville, ND, as head coach for the Mayville State men’s basketball team. Again, making friends and relationships part of his mission. Traveling for recruiting, Final Four tournaments for years with many of his fellow coaches, Mary and his children coming along for the ride. His next move was to Marshall MN, leading the basketball team as well as athletic director with many stories to be told of his dynamic personality and his “Frenchmen’s Henchmen” followers. During all of his many moves, Pierre gained a group of followers that, along with his family, would come to watch him coaching, wondering what shenanigans he had up his sleeve for that particular game. Whether wearing a beanie, cowboy boots, or his “tam” he was respected on the court by his players, friends, and foe.
Pierre and Mary spent most of their summers on Star Lake, and decided to retire to the place they both so loved. Not known to sit still, duCharme’s Corner Store was purchased, and the next chapter of their life began. This year he would have been celebrating 20 years on the corner. To say he was impactful in the lives of his “ice cream maidens” and grandchildren he tutored at the store would be an understatement. His genuine love for the lake, the people of the community, and his family showed through with the opening of the Store in the spring, his “coffee crew” friends, loyal customers, Tuesday night Pizza Night, and his favorite, Raspberry Chocolate Chunk cones. He would give a nightly recap of who came into the store that day, how much the regular’s children grew over the summer, and who just stopped by to say “hi.” So many vacationers made duCharme’s an annual stop, and he appreciated the friendships.
His story doesn’t end there. Pierre and Mary became snowbirds, living in Ft. Myers, FL during the winters, which then became their second home. This home, once again, became the hub for new friends, super bowl parties, and many new adventures for them.
Pierre is survived by his wife, Mary Frank duCharme; brother Ted (Ellen) duCharme, Barnesville, MN; his children Louis (Laura) duCharme of Lake Shatek, MN, Yvette (Dale) Lewis, Star Lake, MN, Paulette (Ian) Hansen, Cape Coral, FL, Andre (Leah) duCharme, Moorhead, MN, and Jean-Paul duCharme, Rochester, MN; 15 beloved grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Pierre’s pride and joy were his wife, his children and his very close relationship with his grandchildren. Many of his life’s stories, jokes, and knowledge will be passed on by them, as well as his beloved brother Ted.
Pierre was preceeded in death by his proud parents, his father Louis Napolean duCharme and mother Mary “Monica” McCarty duCharme.
To honor Pierre, a Celebration of Life will be held on July 1st, 2023 at his home on Star Lake. It will be a time for all to remember the life and influence he had on so many people. In lieu of flowers, a donation for Pierre may be made to the family, who are in the process of setting up a the “Pierre duCharme Athletic and Education Scholarship” fund for a young student in the area. This will be an ongoing scholarship for future teachers and athletes entering College.
Saturday, July 1, 2023
The duCharme Home
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