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Charlene Kropp - January 15, 2013


Charlene Uarda Kropp, age 95, of Holyoke, died Jan. 15, 2013 in Holyoke. Charlene was the daughter of Lottie (Masscey) Alden and Orman Kyle Alden and was born in Iron Hills, Iowa on Nov. 5, 1917.

She was educated in schools in eastern Iowa, graduating from Maquoketa High School in 1936. She married Charles Browne at Monmouth, Iowa on March 12, 1936. They made their home in eastern Colorado where Mr. Browne farmed with his uncle, S.S. (Vet) Chase. To this union, three daughters were born: Wreatha Grace, born prematurely on July 8, 1939; Leilani Ann, born Sept. 16, 1942; and Rochelle Susan, born Nov. 4, 1951.

While they lived on a farm near Amherst, Charlene was a co-leader of the 4-H club for many years and took care of the Amherst school library. She and Mr. Browne celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1961. They were divorced after 28 years of marriage. Charlene and daughter Rochelle moved to Holyoke where Charlene worked for the Holyoke Enterprise as the Linotype operator.

In May 1965 she married Albert Schroeder at Imperial, Neb. They made their home in Venango, Neb., spending the winters in Mesa, Ariz. after Al retired. He died in June 1977 of cancer.

Charlene moved back to Holyoke in March 1978. In January 1979 she married Luther Kropp. They continued living in Holyoke until Lute was killed in a farm accident in October 1982.

Charlene belonged to the organization of Rainbow Girls in Iowa and was the Mother Advisor of the Rainbow Girls in Holyoke (1949-1950); a member of Eastern Star in Holyoke for over 60 years, and appointed Grand Chaplain of Eastern Star of the state of Colorado in 1987-1988; and a 56-year member of P.E.O.

She loved her country very much and was proud to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Sterling, as she was a descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullens, who came from England on the Mayflower in 1620.

Charlene received the Quiet Disciple award at the First United Methodist Church in Holyoke for over 50 years of service to the church in many capacities. She enjoyed taking many Elderhostel classes and traveling in all 50 states, Canada and Europe.

Charlene made friends wherever she lived. Her biggest joy was her family. “All I ever wanted was a happy family.” She delighted in preparing and hosting dinners for family and friends. Some of the activities Charlene enjoyed over her 95 years were ballroom dancing, playing contract bridge, making cookies for her grandchildren, visiting and having a cup of tea.

Charlene was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Charles, Al and Lute; brother, Jerald; and daughters, Wreatha and Leilani.

She is survived by her daughter, Rochelle (Browne) Smith and husband Rock of Chowchilla, Calif.; stepdaughter, Yvonne Hermann of Venango; stepdaughter, Lee Renfrow and husband Jay of Crested Butte; former son-in-law, Gary Sperber; grandchildren, Shawn (Sperber) Ringleman and husband Ryan of Monument, Eric Sperber and wife Rhonda of Oakley, Kan., Mark Sperber of Houston, Texas, Amy Smith of El Segundo, Calif. and Steven Smith and wife Victoria of Santa Ana, Calif.; and eight step-grandchildren, Susi, Mary, Kristin and Linda, Nannette of Lincoln, Neb., Brian of Venango, Seadon Renfrow and wife Ann of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Stephanie Collins and husband Joe of Boulder. Charlene was very proud of all nine of her great-grandchildren, 12+ step-great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Donations in her memory may be made to Camp Machasay, 61360 County Road 40, Amherst, CO 80721; Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, 611 Southwest 10th Avenue, Amarillo, TX 79010; or The Angel Tree, Inc., 1035 Data Lane, Knoxville, TN 37932-2570.

The funeral service was held Jan. 18 at the Haxtun United Methodist Church with Pastor Dave Barton officiating. Services concluded at the church.

Charlene will be buried in the spring of 2013.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with these arrangements.