Charles “Charlie” David Blystad of Baraboo passed on to join the love of his life, Carol, on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the age of 80. Charlie was born on Sept. 16, 1937 in Necedah, Wisconsin to Arthur and Pheobe (Lecy) Blystad. He was the youngest of six children and although there was an 18 year age span from youngest to oldest he was close to each of his siblings and all of their children and their children’s children. He was their “Uncle Chuck”.
He met the love of his life, Carol, on a New Years Eve blind date and was fairly sure that she would not go on a second. They married Aug. 26, 1967 and celebrated each day of their 49 years 11 months and 11 days. She called him “Chuckie” and he called her “Mama” and “Little Love”. They moved to Baraboo in 1973 with their 2 daughters and lived in the same house ever since.
Charlie worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison for most of his career, mainly in the Genetics Lab and Biotechnology Departments. He was a laboratory manager working with brilliant scientists researching gene targeting and DNA sequencing. He met people from all walks of life and never went to work without his sense of humor and his cribbage board. He would often quote poetry with one of his bosses, Oliver Smithies, a Nobel prize winning geneticist, who sent Charlie a handwritten thank you note after receiving the prestigious award.
Much of his retirement was spent at home since Charlie was not a fan of traveling. He made an occasional exception but preferred hunting and fishing followed by building a fire in his wood burning stove and watching the Packers or Badgers play on his big tv.
Charlie was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; parents, Arthur and Phoebe Blystad; sisters and brothers-in-law, Eileen “Joyce” and Lloyd Webster, Phyllis “June” and Robert Schulz, Barbara R. and Cal Clark, and Pearl “Elaine” Bender; nieces, Christine Pfeil and Joyce Bender Kannon; nephew, Dennis Clark and sister-in-law, Anne Blystad.
Charlie is survived by his daughters, Laura (Scott) Weiler and Carrie (Michael) Piantoni; grandchildren, Samantha, Zachary and Abigail – his “little sweet plums” who lovingly called him “Grandpa B”; his brother, Arthur “Stu” Blystad; brother-in-law, Erwin “Ben” Bender; sisters and brothers-in-law, Margaret (Vic Melville) Sellers, Alice (Jack) Gilhart, and Duncan (Emma) Lestina; and his three grand dogs, Sophia, Isbella and Kirby. Charlie is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, close friends, hunting and fishing buddies….
Charlie’s family extends a special thank you to Dr. Marie Thomas for going above and beyond from day one and never gave up, and the entire staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison for their patience with this stubborn Norwegian.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 3 p.m. at Redlin Funeral Home with Pastor Jonathan Tipton officiating. Visitation will be held on Monday from 2 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please plant a tree in his memory either yourself or through thetreesremember.com established by the U. S. Forest Service and/or donate to his favorite charity, Wounded Warrior Project.