Charlie Belgrade Passes
Our old friend Charlie Belgrade passed away on July 15th. His son Kenny informed me & said he died peacefully at his Wyoming ranch with his faithful dog by his side. I met Charlie on my first organized trail ride in Minnesota in 1969. He rode on the Caberleros Del Norte ride, Carefree Rancheros ride, Black Hill ride and of course the VV for many years. He could stay in the saddle longer than any cowboy I knew. We will all miss him.
Belgarde, Charles Patrick (Rides A Painted Horse) age 93, born March 18, 1921 died peacefully on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Charles was preceded in death by his loving wife of 52 years Mary, his daughter, Michelle and son, Gerald. Charles was born in Malta, Montana, and was raised in Dunseith, North Dakota in a family of 10 children. Charles was a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Indian Reservation; his Indian name is "Rides A Painted Horse". He was a graduate of the Marty Mission Indian School. Charles served with distinction in the 8th Air Force during WWII as a B-17 pilot based in England, attaining the rank of Lieutenant. After his discharge, Charles attended St. Thomas College and also studied architectural drafting. Charles married the love of his life, Mary, and together they built a wonderful family of twelve children. Charles and Mary traveled throughout the West and Northwest and drove to Alaska on the then gravel Alcan Highway in search of a place to establish their roots. They ultimately settled in Minneapolis, where Charles started Belgarde Construction with nothing more than an apron, a hammer, his carpentry skills, and the determination to succeed. Under Charles' leadership, the company grew from a crew of 15 in the 1950's to a major provider of carpentry labor and concrete crews to the emerging post war construction boom. Charles became legendary for taking his crews out West on hunting trips. Since the 1960's, this humble man from Malta has developed homes, apartments, retail and industrial properties in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, and Colorado. In 1968, Belgarde Enterprises was recognized by the Minnesota Apartment Association with its Reggie Award for excellence, and in 1989 was named the Developer of the Year by the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. Charles was an inspirational leader, mentor, and teacher who had a positive influence on so many throughout his career. "Measure twice, cut once, back to basics, value engineering, if you come to a brick wall go around not through it, that's human nature, put it on a spreadsheet, work smarter not harder," are but a few of his oft repeated expressions. Charles completed the Owner President Management program at the Harvard Graduate Business School in 1981 at age 60. Charles loved the outdoors, especially horseback riding and hunting. Charles was an active member of the Caballeros del Norte, a western style riding club, for 50 years participating in many trail rides. He went on his final ride just a month ago. Charles fulfilled a dream when he purchased 1800 pristine acres in Wyoming, where he held an annual family reunion, and 400 head of cattle roam free. It was there in Aladdin, Wyoming, now population 13, where he breathed his final breath on this beautiful Knoll. Charles lived his life to the fullest, was known for being firm and fair, had a quick wit, and subtle sense of humor. He was a voracious reader, and was a student of history. Charles never forgot his humble beginnings, and through his family foundation supports a number of Native American organizations dedicated to youth, wellness, treaty rights and education. Charles is survived by his brother John; children, Belle (Harry), Ken (Joyce), Charles Jr., (Eugene), Loretta (Chris), Bryant (Cindy), Curtis, Annette, Terrie (Craig), Suzette, and Paulette; his grandchildren, Chad, Brent, Brock, Kyle (Melissa), Kelsey (DJ), Kort, Kobi, Lann (Christian), Monica(Jason), Mandon, Sabrene (Josh), Christina, Neetah (Shawn), Josh, Joe, Jarad, Kuarin, Charles, Isaac, Cheyenne, Mary, James, Marguerite, John Paul; and his great grandchildren, Jonah, Ava, Makayla, Hailey, Jayden, Shaina, Shawn, Lyllian, Fynnley, Brekkyn, Evelyn, Dalton and Kenley. We will miss you always. Funeral Services will be at St. Mary of the Lake Church in Plymouth, 105 Forestview Ln N, Plymouth, at 10:30 Tuesday, July 22; visitation will be one hour earlier. On Monday evening, from 5:00-8:00 there will be visitation at Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel in Eden Prairie, 7625 Mitchell Rd. Tributes in memory of Charles may be sent to: Byron Dorgan Youth Wellness Center, PO Box 900, Belcourt, ND 58316 or St. Ann's Parish, PO Box 2000, Belcourt, ND 58316. www.Washburn-McReavy.com Eden Prairie Chapel 952-975-0400