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Charlotte Arlene Richardson

Born: Mon., Jan. 16, 1928
Died: Sun., Oct. 1, 2017

Private Services

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Charlotte Arlene Richardson, 89, passed away on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at Country Meadows Care Facility in Lancaster, PA. Born in Detroit, Maine on January 16, 1928 to the late Merle Newell and Edith Janette Hollis, she grew up and attended schools in Dexter, Maine. She and her husband lived in Dexter and Bangor, ME, Grand Rapids, MI and Grafton, WI before moving to Pennsylvania.

She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Preston Jere Richardson, son, Larry (Sue) Richardson of Lititz, PA, daughter, Vicki (William ‘Buz’) Reed of Cedarburg, WI, granddaughters, Holly Hutto and Callie Reed (Aaron Seaman), grandson, Tim (Cecilia) Reed, great-grandchildren, Jacqueline (Jon) Horst, Tyler (Emily) Hutto, sisters-in-law, Polly Poulin and Jean Hollis, and nephews and nieces.

Charlotte attended Fisher College in Boston and worked in retail at the Rexall Drug Store in Dexter and Freese’s Department store in Bangor. She loved gardening, reading, road trips and visits from family and friends who she insisted on feeding whether they were hungry or not. She loved collecting beach glass on the coast of Maine and shells on their frequent visits to Siesta Key, Florida. She liked ice cream and happy hour and hated parades. She passed on her love of traveling backroads to both of her children. She and Jere volunteered at the Cedarburg Cultural Center and attended Heritage Baptist Church.

Jere and Charlotte’s devotion and care for each other inspired many at Country Meadows Care Facility where they lived since 2015 and their legacy will live on in those who have known them. Her example of being an independent, strong woman who lovingly cared for others will be a continued inspiration. Even in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s she offered the sage advice, “Make life fun”. We can all honor her by following this admonition to live in the moment. A special thank you goes to the staff and caregivers at Country Meadows of Lancaster and Grane Hospice who provided loving attention to her and her family and continue their care for Jere.

Per her request there will be a private family celebration of her life. Online condolences can be made at  https://www.cremationsocietyofpa.com Donations in her memory may be made to the Cedarburg Cultural Center, W62 N546 Washington Ave, Cedarburg, WI 53012, (www.cedarburgculturalcenter.com) and to the Alzheimer’s Association. (http://www.alz.org/) 

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Condolence Booklet

   Posted Fri October 13, 2017
It is hard to sum up Aunt Charlotte in just a few words. She was a cousin who became an Aunt by circumstances and often filled in for deceased Grammys. She fed me my first cucumber as a tiny version of me discovered the stairs in their house. Uncle Jere sat on the steps to chat with me as I walked up and down, up and down. Later I would collect seas glass, and seashells with her and we would talk about everything and nothing. There was an old, Art Deco style theater in Bar Harbor called The Criterion. On one visit they were showing Return to Me and I had seen it back home, but thought Aunt Charlotte would enjoy. I had always wanted to go inside that theater. Everyone was going to go and then it became just Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jere, and as we pulled up Uncle Jere said he was gonna pass. So after some "arguing" Aunt Charlotte allowed me to buy her movie ticket. We had such a good time, and solved all the problems I currently carried. I cherish those times with her. I loved hearing about all her time with all my precious cousins (young and not as young), but when it was just us she was fully there. She made an investment in me of her time and her love each and every moment I had with her. I will miss her on this earth. I have been mourning her for some time, much like I did with Dad due to that horrible disease. So now it's time to celebrate her wonderful life, her wonderful legacy of each of you, and it's definitely time to make life fun. I love you all more than I tell you. Sending prayers of comfort, and peace.

Alzheimer's Association of Southeastern Wisconsin
   Posted Tue October 17, 2017
On behalf of everyone here at the Alzheimer's Association - thank you so much for thinking of us at this time of loss to your family. Memorial donations made in Charlotte's name will be put to immediate use serving families and supporting research. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Dave Grams, Executive Director

Sarah Hall, John Tucker and Family
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
I will always lovingly remember Jere and Char Richardson, for any number of reasons. It's difficult to speak of one of them without mentioning the other, so I choose to reflect on them as a couple.

In the years that I served as director of the Cedarburg Cultural Center, they were two of our favorite volunteers. When they assisted at our events and performances, they were genuinely helpful, quick thinkers, calm and level-headed in even the most stressful of circumstances and just plain enjoyable to be around. Char sometimes had this delightfully naughty reaction to especially difficult or self-important customers, and would discreetly share a conspiratorial look that said, "Get a load of this character!" Gentle Jere would roll his eyes and only pretend to be scandalized. After the audience departed and clean-up was complete, we would often sit down to have a beer or glass of wine and a few laughs together, and I recall being struck by how witty, curious, energetic and altogether ageless they were. They had this knack for finding fun in any situation, which I associated with my own parents -- who were from rural northern New England also -- where the lack of ready-made amusements may have encouraged natives to grow skilled at inventing some. Indeed, Char and Jere had lived in Maine, then Michigan, then Wisconsin, while my husband, our kids and I ended up residing in the exact same places, only in the opposite order. No wonder we felt such a connection!

That bond strengthened when my husband and I decided to expand our family by adopting a child, wound up with two babies instead of one and then were heartbroken when my own mother died not long afterwards and my husband's work took us far from Wisconsin. Soon after we moved away, care packages for our two little ones began to arrive on almost every holiday from the Richardsons. These would be filled with small toys and trinkets, books, stickers, decorations and other colorful treasures, and our kids would squeal whenever I announced, "You got another box from Jere and Char!" This went on for years, as my husband's work continued to move us from place to place. My own mom had been the nurturing soul in the family who was inclined to do such things for her older grandchildren, but she was no longer there. Char and Jere sensed the void and quietly stepped in as surrogates, teaching our adopted kids what grandparents are all about. We will always be grateful for these sweet surprises that added such a personal touch to our youngest children's St. Patrick's and Valentine's Days, 4th of Julys, Halloweens, Thanksgivings and Christmases. These acts of generosity were entirely selfless and unexpected, but profoundly meaningful.

I am so glad their daughter Vicki made her parents the subject of much of her photography and other stunning artwork, so that whenever any of us need to feel their presence, all we have to do is look at her creations. What an exquisite legacy and a gift to everyone who knew Jere and Char. Vicki clearly inherited their positive energy and sense of what is truly important in life, and carries on their instinctive way of adding beauty to the world. Wishing her and all her family the love and strength they need to deal with this tremendous loss.

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