By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY – A bittersweet goodbye will be shared amongst Dr. Charles Folkestad, the staff and patients as he will be officially retiring from the Mayo Clinic in Glenwood City at the beginning of April.
Folkestad’s journey to Glenwood City began over 20 years ago when he began working as a doctor in the city in 1993.
He started his career in 1974 when he finished graduate school at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
He then completed his residence at the U of M and St. John’s Hospital and afterwards moved to Menomonie in 1978 where he worked as a doctor at the clinic there for seven years.
During that time, the Limberg brothers were doctors in Glenwood City, but due to a death in the family, a position was made available.
Folkestad had plans to do medical missionary work in Africa, but he came to Glenwood City for a year in 1985 and worked as the clinic’s M.D.
After a year, he left for his missionary trip, which lasted nearly four years.
Folkestad returned to Menomonie after that, which is where he resides to this day. He and his wife Becky raised three sons and a daughter and now have three grandchildren.
When Folkestad made the transition to Glenwood City in 1993, he worked around five hours a day and then traveled to Minneapolis so he could finish his Master’s Degree in Public Health.
At that time, the clinic itself was where Dr. Rasmussen’s dental office is now. There was one doctor, which was Folkestad and about four staff members.
Today, the clinic has branched off from once being independent to being within the Mayo Clinic Health System with 15 staff members, three doctors, one nurse practitioner and one physical therapist.
By Folkestad’s side for many years was his nurse, Judy Schlottman, who retired a few years ago herself. Mona James then took her place as nurse.
Folkestad praised both Schlottman and James as well as all the staff at the clinic as they have made his 20 plus years incredibly enjoyable.
He also thanked his patients, who he will miss the most, for being loyal and making each day special.
Folkestad is now looking forward to heading overseas to Asia where he will visit his grandchildren in Mongolia.
He still plays a big role in the Christian and Missionary Alliance so the future may hold more missionary trips. Until then, he will look forward to family time and relaxing at their lake cabin.
The community is encouraged to stop by the retirement party for Folkestad on Tuesday, April 1 at the Clinic in Glenwood City from 1:00-3:00 p.m.