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Charles Olindro Grasseschi was born March 11, 1928. He left our world on August 24, 2018 at the age of 90. He arrived in heaven just in time to dance with his beautiful departed wife, Rita, on their wedding anniversary.
Charlie grew up in Black Eagle, MT. Born to Italian immigrants, he grew up in the restaurant business. His parents owned The Miami Club, known for its fabulous food and gambling. Charlie said he peeled 100 pounds of potatoes every day for 18 years. At the young age of 17 he dealt blackjack, served drinks, and dealt with any issues that arose during the night. After selling The Miami Club, he and his dad opened Tommie’s Ranch House.
Charlie was drafted in the Army and served for two years. Upon his return, he found out his dad sold the Ranch House. It was too difficult to operate without Charlie there to help. Charlie went on to have a twenty year career as a bartender in Great Falls, many of those years at Eddie’s Supper Club.
Shortly after returning to Great Falls, Charlie met his loving wife, Rita. Fate played a part in this beautiful romance. Charlie was driving down Second Avenue North. While stopped at an intersection, a beautiful brunette crossed the street. He said to himself, “I’m going to marry that woman.” Not long after, Rita went to the supper club to see her friend who was singing at the piano bar. Charlie was behind the bar. And their love affair began. They were married about 2 months later in Fort Benton.
After 20 years behind the bar, Charlie bought a restaurant in Missoula. The venture didn’t work out as planned so he sold the business to his partner and moved back to Great Falls. Charlie needed a career change. He went to beauty school to become a hairdresser, and later got a barber’s license. After graduating, Charlie moved the family to Conrad in the winter of 1970 to open his own business. Thus the beginning of The House Of Charles.
Charlie’s passion was golf. He was very good and seldom lost. If he was having a bad day when he played with his sons-in-law, Carl and Dan, he would play mind games to throw them off their games. Wednesday night men’s league was sacred. He always came home early that day to hit the links.
Charlie and Rita loved to dance. They floated across the dance floor with elegance and grace and cleared more than one dance floor. Glenn Miller was the “King of Swing”. They followed his band as much as possible, even taking two cruises to dance to their favorite music.
Charlie’s family meant everything to him. He transformed the backyard into our own private playground with a basketball court, volleyball/badminton net, and tether ball. In the winter he built a frame and flooded the backyard to give his children and neighborhood their own private skating rink.
Charlie was also very involved in his church and community. He ran the chains for high school football games for many years. He and Rita worked on the restoration of the Orpheum Theatre. They also dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at Christmas to deliver toys to children in need.
A very good friend of Rob’s summed up Charlie perfectly in a text titled, “Somethings I learned from Charlie: Manhattan is his recommended drink, Glenn Miller is the man, the secret to golf = ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay, and family is everything.”
Survivors include children, Teresa (Dan) Aakre of Conrad, Lee (Tina) Grasseschi of Reno, NV, Carla (Carl) Younce of Crosslake, MN, and Rob (Helen) Grasseschi of Great Falls; grand and great grandchildren, Ben(Darcie) Aakre and their children, Luke and Elizabeth; Matthew Aakre and his children, Audrianna, Daniel, and Michael with their mom, Stephanie Scott; Courtney Williams; Corey Younce and his daughter, Kyra; Nicholas Grasseschi; Joseph Grasseschi; Cecelia Grasseschi; and Teresa Grasseschi.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Rita; parents, Tommy and Velia (Michelotti) Grasseschi; children, Michael, Patrick, and Robert; sisters, Norma Marra and Gloria Grasseschi; brother-in-law, Joe Marra; and brother, Velio Grasseschi.
The family asks all to join them for a Celebration of Life for Charlie on Sunday, September 23, at 4:00 PM at the Pondera Golf Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Pondera Healthcare Foundation, Conrad Scholars Golf Scholarship, or charity of choice.