Carol Irene Denke Profile Photo
1922 Carol I. Denke 2023

Carol Irene Denke

September 25, 1922 — March 8, 2023

Alexandria

 

Carol Irene Denke (nee Branum), daughter of Leonard and Winnie Branum, was born on a farm in Belle Fourche, South Dakota on September 25, 1922. She was the youngest of eight children. Carol would often tell the story of how her mother was surprised by the doctor during delivery that she was having not just one baby, but two. Her twin sister Cora, along with their other siblings, Roland, Arnie, Kenneth, Buster, Amy, and Marion had a simple and cherished childhood on a sugar beet farm with no electricity, or running water, where their family also raised chickens, and had horses. She would often say her fondest childhood memories were on the farm, playing outside with her siblings (especially her twin sister Cora), and inspired her lifelong love of horses. 

After high school, Carol went to visit her sister Amy and brother-in-law Howard in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At the army base nearby, there was a dance, and the first soldier that asked her to dance was Rudolf Denke, from Brooklyn New York. After a short courtship they were united in marriage in Clovis, New Mexico in 1943. A few months later, Rudy was deployed to Italy to serve in World War II. His plane was shot down and he became a prisoner of war in Germany. Rudy came home after the war 1 1/2 years later, and met his son, Rudolf Conrad II, for the first time. Rudy and Carol had 2 more children, Dennis Warren, and Marsha Elaine.

The Denkes moved to Patterson New Jersey where Carol was baptized and confirmed at St Paul Lutheran Church as an adult. The family moved several more times before Rudy and Carol moved to San Antonio Texas and managed a campground. The couple then retired to Alexandria, Minnesota to be close to family. 

Carol was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker. She had a spirit of adventure and loved to travel, especially with Rudy, her husband of 66 wonderful years until his death in 2009. Her love of adventure led her to sit on a brahma bull, go up in a hot air balloon, and at 91 years old, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of jumping out of an airplane, inspired by her husband Rudy. 

Carol I. Denke, age 100 of Alexandria, died on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at Bethany on the Lake in Alexandria, MN.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Rudy, seven siblings, and a granddaughter. She is survived by two sons: Rudy & wife, Pat of Alexandria, Dennis & wife Cheryl of Wenatchee, WA, and daughter Marsha of Lisle, IL, ten grandchildren, twenty-five great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren. 

A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at 11AM at the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel in Alexandria. 

An Eastern Star Service will follow the Memorial Service.

A visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the Anderson Funeral Home on Wednesday.

Carol's service will be livestreamed and can be viewed on her obituary page on the funeral home's website.

Interment will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery near Little Falls, MN.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Carol Irene Denke, please visit our flower store.
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Visitation

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory

659 Voyager Drive NW, Alexandria, MN 56308

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory

659 Voyager Drive NW, Alexandria, MN 56308

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Eastern Star Service

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

11:45am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory

659 Voyager Drive NW, Alexandria, MN 56308

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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