Funeral services for Carla Lang, 77, of Mobridge will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at Family Worship Center in Mobridge.
Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home.
Visitation will start at 5 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Kesling Funeral Home.
Carla passed away on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, at her home in Mobridge.
Carla was born March 21, 1940, in Edewecht, Germany, to Willie and Alice (Carle) Grethe, just after the start of World War II. She grew up with her parents and attended public school. During this time in Germany, students attended school until the age of 14. Students were then encouraged to attend a trade school. Carla attended Meica Meat Factory School where she learned office skills. Her father was drafted into the German Army in 1939 and did not return home until 1948. He was a prisoner of war in Africa from 1944 until his return. She saw him briefly in 1943, but not knowing who he was, told her mother to get him out of their home.
As a young girl growing up in Germany, Carla was very familiar with the sounds of bombs exploding. She would often hide under her bed in an attempt to hide from the chaos. The memory of the nights running to the bomb shelter never left her. In fact, she had very vivid memories of her early years. She grew up with hard-working parents and grandparents, and that helped mold her character.
In 1961, Carla and her German husband came to the United States. Together they began a meat business in Bath, and later expanded their business to Aberdeen. When her marriage ended, Carla and partner Al Hochhalter bought Westside Meats in Mobridge in 1982 from Edwin “Schmo” Schilling. Carla and Al built a successful business not just in Mobridge but throughout the region. Westside Meats is known for its jerky, far and wide. She would ship jerky out to all regions of the United States. Her two sons joined her in the family business when they were in high school. They began learning the trade and recipes from Carla. Tom was the meat cutter and Chris was the sausage maker. After Tom’s automobile accident, he did the business bookkeeping and Chris began the duties as a meat cutter.
Hard work was no stranger to Carla. She had a work ethic that was hard to compare. Her attitude was that of, “Work while you can.” That work ethic is what kept her going when her business caught on fire and was destroyed in 2016. A new store was rebuilt and was just about to open, when it too, was victim of fire. Once again, she would rebuild a processing facility at the original site in her community to keep the business going. The current Westside Meats was exactly as she had dreamed. The new design was her creation. She was very proud of this achievement and anxious to once again serve her loyal customers.
Carla is survived by two sons, Tom and Chris Lang of Mobridge; one grandson, Brett Lang of Mobridge; one brother, Karl of Mobridge; special friend and partner Elmer “Al” Hochhalter of Mobridge; and many cousins in Germany.
She was preceded in death by her parents; Willie and Alice Grethe.