Charlotte Jeanette Holmes, 90 years old, passed away on August 31, 2014 to join her parents, two brothers and sister in a more peaceful afterlife with God. Charlotte was born in Oakland, California on December 19, 1923 to her loving parents, Emil and Martine Carre. She was the third of four children, Emil, Jr., Raymond and sister, Olga. Charlotte was educated in Albany, California and married in January 1940 to Bertrand Staples Brown of Mill Valley, California, having one child, Steven C. Brown. Charlotte is also survived by two nieces, a grand-niece, two great-grand-nieces and one great-grand-nephew.
During WW II, Charlotte was employed part-time as a munitions truck driver, delivering these important items to the Vallejo Naval Yard for loading onto U.S. Navy ships departing for the Pacific Theater effort. In 1957, when she became divorced, Charlotte began her full-time working career as a switchboard operator at the Piedmont Board of Education in Piedmont, California. Upon moving to Sacramento, California in the summer of 1958, Charlotte commenced working for the State of California as a phone receptionist. While living in Sacramento, she met and married Ross D. Holmes in December 1961, whereby they proceeded to live for a short while at Lake Tahoe/Truckee, California, prior to moving to Huntsville and Liberty, Utah in the summer of 1962. Upon arriving in Utah, she began employment with Utah Power and Light, as a customer representative for almost 12 years. While living in Utah, in 1963, Charlotte was baptized into The Church of Latter Day Saints.
In 1974, she returned to California to again work for the State of California in San Jose as a secretary, later transferring to become a toll collector on the Oakland Bay Bridge until her retirement in 1984. She retired from the State of California to a small residence in lovely Sonoma, California where she lived until moving to Arlington, Virginia in 1987. She had always wanted to live away from the urban area, and in 1991, she designed and built a home in the charming town of Woodstock, Virginia. In 1994, Charlotte had the privilege of hosting a foreign exchange student from Columbia: Felipe Bohorquez. He positively impacted her life, as she did his, and Felipe often remarked that he gained a different perspective of life through Charlotte’s eyes. “She was always an encourager” adding “a few nudges from her allowed me to pursue my dreams; to this day, whenever I have doubts, she is a source of inspiration.”
With her declining health, she was visited regularly by the Church’s local missionaries and Brothers of the Church from Woodstock, Virginia. She appreciated their concerns for her health, and enjoyed sharing stories with the youthful missionaries, of her time living in Huntsville, Utah. She treasured her interaction with the President of the Church, David O. McKay, who also lived in Huntsville, Utah. Charlotte was also a long-time and devoted “mother” to her prize cat “Inky” as well as numerous family dogs and other cats which she loved to attend to, over the years. They were a part of her soul. Charlotte had two full-time caregivers who provided her with the most loving level of care imaginable: her long-time neighbor and live-in friend Charlotte G. MacDonald and Allyson Starling of Front Royal.
She was also a long-time member of the Eastern Star, since 1962, and was a member of the Shenandoah Valley Lodge. In her retirement, Charlotte donated many enjoyable hours as an active volunteer of the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, The Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter and the Woodstock Thrift Store of the Blue Ridge Hospice.
Per Charlotte’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. Charlotte’s ashes will be spread amongst her son’s vineyard in the Spring of the coming year in Woodstock, Virginia. In the Spring of 2015, an open house will be held for those who knew her wit, charm and tenderness, at her home located at 749 Eagle Street, Woodstock, VA. A notice will be provided prior to the event.
In lieu of flowers, contributions should be sent to The Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 West Cork Street, Suite 405, Winchester, VA 22601.