Charles Canaan - Rapid City

ept. 24, 1940 - Jan. 21, 2024


Charles William Canaan went home to be with his Lord on Jan. 21, 2024.  
He was the second of three sons born to Charles Lawrence Canaan and Wilhelmina Terhorst, on Sept. 24, 1940, in Los Angeles, CA.  He attended Christian schools from grades 1-12, graduating from Bellflower Christian High School (CA) in 1958.  
He attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, and earned degrees in Music from California State University at Long Beach (BA), Western Michigan University (MA), and Arizona State University (DMA).  His teaching career included 14 years in secondary schools, seven years as an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in Orange City, IA (1979-1986), and 17 years as Professor and Director of Choral Activities at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD (1986-2003).
Charles married the love of his life, Joan Carol Wiersma, on Aug.25, 1961, at First Christian Reformed Church in Bellflower, CA.  To this union were born three sons:  Randal Scott, James Bryan, and Chad Alan.  They left California in 1966 for teaching positions in Montana, Michigan, Iowa, and lastly, in South Dakota, where they lived for more than 35 years. The Canaans enjoyed traveling with choirs and various tours with dear friends to the UK, Europe, and Scandinavia over 21 times.
Charles is survived by his wife Joan of 62 years; sons Randal (Chandra), James (Tammy), and Chad (Megan); granddaughters Alissa, Bethany (Shawn) Oetkin, Rebecca (Michael) Britz; grandsons Bradley, Andrew, Jace (Taylor), Eli, Samuel, Isaac Charles; great-grandchildren Caroline Grace, Bennet William, Reese, Cael, Jackson, and Callum Taylor; a brother Richard (Sally) of Jefferson, OR; brothers-in-law Nelson (Clarine), Vernon (Roberta) and Bob (Susan) Wiersma; as well as various nieces, nephews, and a host of cousins.
Services will be held at the 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at First Presbyterian Church with a time of viewing held one hour prior to the service beginning at 9:30 am. Burial will take place at Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Love, Inc. or the Charles Canaan Scholarship at South Dakota State University.
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