On Sunday, October 20 2019, Charlene’s big heart became still. Big Red has joined her beloved spouse Tom, son Kyle, nephews Ted, Gerasimos, and John, neighbor/BFF Carolyn, 23 dogs, 2 cats, 7 peacocks, numerous ducks and chickens, and geese.
She was born on June 29, 1933 to Melva Georgelas and Gust Kouris in the ‘ghost’ town of Heiner, in Carbon County, Utah. Like Loretta Lynn, she was proud to be a coal miner’s daughter, and spent her early years in Helper before her family moved to Salt Lake City where she later attended South High. She will be missed by daughter Karen (Bill Wegesser), son Kelly (Cindi), grandchildren Thomas (Lauren), Carrie, Mary, Rachel, Kyliana and her ‘yiayia’s boy’ Athan; and especially by her devoted fur-friend Piper; they were inseparable. She was ‘Sister Superior’ to sisters Helen, Mary, and Theano, and to sister-in-laws Elaine and Teresa. She showed her love to them and to her nieces and nephews by making Pheasant Lane the best place to hang out at on the entire planet.
Thanks to the Curtin clan, who made Char an honorary member of their family. She enjoyed many meals at their tables, and that of her new ‘sympatheri’ Jer & Rosie. Words can’t express our deep gratitude to Charlie’s Angels- Donna, Claire, Anne, Jayme- her devoted helpers who were also her best friends the past few years. Charlene moved to The Wentworth Millcreek in April and spent her final months surrounded by a family of devoted and loving caregivers and staff– Arlene, Tammy, George, Sonia, Sal and many others. We thank her special Wentworth friends, dining companion Pete and coffee buddy Maxine, and dog walkers Tucker, Ashley, and baby Oakley; their interactions brightened Char’s days immensely. Thanks also to Dr. Natalie Sanders and Madsen Geriatrics for their thoughtful care; special thanks to Legacy Health Care hospice nurses, Ashley and Rachel.
It was no secret Char preferred dogs to people; if you wish to remember mom with a donation to an animal rescue/no-kill shelter of your choice, she will be pleased. Charlene’s vision was cruelly robbed by macular degeneration. In lieu of flowers we also suggest contributions to research in which she participated (and Karen is actively working on) that will save the eyesight of others in the future: Steele Center for Translational Medicine (SCTM) at the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center (https://auxiliary.apps.utah.edu/ugive/designation/179). In accordance with Charlene’s wishes, private services will be held by the family.