Mom’s Obituary

I want to share some of the words people have share about Mom, starting with her obituary.

Carla wrote the obituary and Teresa and I went over it.

Obituary for Charlotte Ann Bennett
Charlotte Ann Bennett
September 26, 1942 – March 24, 2021

Charlotte Ann Bennett, 78, lifelong resident of Boone, passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines of heart failure. Even though a failing heart took her from this world, her loving heart left a beacon of light in all the lives she touched.

Charlotte was the daughter of Lyle Ronald and Doris Irene (Majors) Paris. She was born in Boone on September 26, 1942 and attended Boone High School, graduating with the class of 1960. Charlotte married the love of her life, Gerald D. Bennett on September 4, 1964, in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlotte retired from working at Iowa State University Dining in 2010, after working there for 28 years.

Charlotte loved spending time in her kitchen making delicious meals and baking wonderful treats for her loved ones then delivering them with short visits to check up on everyone. Her kids would say that they couldn’t go anywhere that she didn’t stop to visit with someone. She also loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, attending all the activities they were in.

Charlotte was an active member of the First United Methodist Church including helping in the kitchen for funeral luncheons and large meal activities. She was a volunteer for the Boone County Hospital Auxiliary. Charlotte loved watching Iowa State University athletics, especially the girls’ basketball team of which she held season tickets for many years.

Charlotte was known as a “walking miracle” after beating cancer twice. Her family is grateful to have had nine years of borrowed time with her.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 20 years, Gerald D. Bennett, her parents Lyle and Doris Paris, daughter-in-law Olivia Bennett and grandson Samuel Bennett, sister-in-law Charlene Paris, brother-in-law Dean Walter, and nephew Alan Johnson.

Survivors include children: Teresa Kahler; Carla (Jason) Stensland, and Christopher D. Bennett; Grandchildren: Brandon (KJ Johnson) Kahler; Johnathan Stensland; Elainie (Sabas) Hernandez; Logan (Amanda Nichols) Kahler, and Alexis (Kupono) Baugher; Great Grandchildren: Kanoa Baugher; Dahlia Kahler; Anela Baugher, and Greyson Stolfus. She is also survived by her siblings Lyle “Butch” Paris; Delores (Richard) VanDePol; Sheryl (Terry) Johnson; Dianna “Annie” Walter; Gary Paris, and Lori (Roger) Sebring, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other family members.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at the Boone First United Methodist Church with Pastor David Swinton officiating. Burial will take place at Linwood Park Cemetery following the funeral service.

Friends may pay their respects at Schroeder-Stark-Welin Funeral Home after 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 29, 2021, with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Those attending the funeral service or visitation will be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Memorials are suggested to the family to use at their discretion.

It is so hard to sum up the life of anybody in a couple hundred words. Let alone somebody who lived so fully and loved so deeply. So there are so many things that are left out. One of Mom’s siblings contacted us and asked us why we didn’t point out that she went on to attend the junior college in Boone. It was a big deal because she was the first member of the family to pursue an education after high school. Everybody was so proud of her.

It definitely wasn’t a conscious omission, but I hope sharing some of the other words would help as well.

Alexis wrote the following:

I got the privilege to tell my grandma everything I needed to tell her before she passed. It was extremely hard at first, but then it was like talking to her how I always do.
I really can’t express how grateful I am for my grandma. She has been not only my rock, but our family rock. She has been my biggest motivator and cheerleader. She has loved me unconditionally and always made sure I knew it.
She always told you what she thought, even if you didn’t want to hear it. I have always admired how assertive she is.
She is the strongest person I know. She is all go, go, go. She never sits still, always has to check on all of her people (and dogs). She has BEAT cancer two times. Got part of her stomach cut out! She has told me numerous times that I am the one that saved her when she had cancer the second time.
I can’t describe how much I wish that this was the same.
I gave her a dolphin pillow pet when she had cancer the second time. She has had it on her bed since (9 years). I brought the dolphin for her yesterday, to have as she passed. I made sure to get that dolphin back, to keep forever.
She has done so much for me that I will forever be grateful.
I would give anything to have her make me pancakes one more time, go to an ISU women’s basketball game with her, see her hold my babies one more time (even though Noa doesn’t sit still either), go to Perkins and get 6 muffins, just one more time.
There is so much that I wish she could experience with me, but I know she will always be with me.
I have so many cherished memories with and of my grandma.
I love my grandmother. Anyone who knows me personally knows how much she meant to me. She spoiled me so much and I could never thank her enough.
I am going to live my life saying “what would grandma say”.
I hope to be 1/100th of a mother and grandmother.

Elainie wrote the following:

Philippians 4:4-13💜
Today I opened up my Bible, the first time in a very long time. A couple years, at least. I received this Bible from my Confirmation to the First United Methodist Church in Boone, IA. My Grandma B. was my mentor. At first I was assigned to someone else but I quickly lost interest and I stopped showing up to our appointments. My Grandma B stepped up and became my mentor when the other mentor quit. She is the one I learned a lot of my spiritual beliefs from. We hardly saw eye to eye, spiritually. I argued and gave her so much grief about what was written on the pages in the Bible. She was finally able to get me to come around when she explained to me that it wasn’t believing every word how it was written.. It was how I interpreted it and used it in my life. She was the one who told me when I was angry, frustrated, sad, or any other emotion or state of being that I should talk to God by prayer. When I didn’t get an immediate answer, to look for signs to point me in the direction I needed to go. And when I couldn’t find the signs, to flip through the Bible until a verse caught my attention. Only being about 12 years old, it was simple enough for me to follow and I still follow to this day. In fact, I try listening to the sermon no matter what church I attend and interpret it to my life. I look up scriptures on Google from time to time. I even listen to Gospel music because it helps bring comfort. I got confirmed to my church because of my Grandma B not giving up on me. I received this Bible from the church as a confirmation present. Grandma was so proud. I believe that these verses were how she tried to live her life. 💗

4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

She also wrote this:

This morning started out rough and got better over time. A memory of Grandma B popped up and I came out of the guest bedroom crying and went to hug my mom. Then we all went over the Grandma B’s house and met up with my Aunt Teresa and Uncle Christopher and went through hundreds of photos. Grandma B was big on photos. There are at least twenty photo albums. Photos of the past from her childhood all the way to the present year. Grandma B loved to collect photos and cards from everyone she received them from, I was amazed to see how many she kept from over the years. There were a lot of photos from all of us growing up over the years that brought fond memories and some that brought tears.
One thing no one will ever doubt is the love she had for her family. How she decorated her house, how many photos she took and kept all those years, how she spoke to anyone willing to listen about us. She loved each and everyone of us whole heartedly. She wasn’t just my grandma I’ve realized over the years. Anyone I brought around and introduced to her as my friend instantly she became a grandma to as well. My Grandma took in everyone and loved each one of them unconditionally because she decided if they were important to me, they were important to her, too. Grandma was always involved in our lives. I can’t think of a softball game, soccer game or any sporting event of mine she didn’t attend. She even took photos of a home run hit I had and wrote down the exact date and kept the newspaper article it was published in. I couldn’t even tell you any of that information, but Grandma knew. I can’t think of a time where she didn’t attend a dance recital or choir concert. Grandma was there for all the high school dances. I can’t think of any time where something important in my life was happening and Grandma wasn’t there. Grandma was extremely humble and proud of each one of her children and grandchildren. She could talk to anyone about anything and she would return the favor of lending an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on if you needed it. Grandma always seemed to pop by when you needed her to and you could always go to her house for anything, at any time and she’d had food made in a heartbeat. She loved her evening popcorn and to watch reruns of her favorite older shows on the tv. She believed in her superstition of keeping busy and not watching the ISU game and that they’d turn around and win if they were losing and she kept busy. She always knew the advice to tell you. Not the good words to tell you, the you needed to hear it whether you agreed or not with her advice. And she was right 99.99% of the time. She would hum along while doing tasks, sometimes it was a song stuck in her head and other times it was the tune she made up herself. She loved going to the bakery and McDonalds to meet up with her friends, especially on Friday mornings. She loved to take care of people and she would help out in any way that she could. Grandma was the best cook and baker and made the best food and goodies. She always made enough for leftovers and brought the leftovers to our house. Grandma poured her heart and soul into the food she made and she understood how food could bring everyone together and bring healing. Grandma believed in the power of family and togetherness. Grandma believed in the power of prayer. When all else failed, grandma would pray with you and the strength of her prayer was enough to make the room quiet and the “energy” felt. Grandma had the best hugs and believed in the power of touch. Grandma was the biggest supporter and was always in my corner. She was so proud when I joined the Navy and she came out to see me multiple times while I served. I loved giving her a tour on a US Navy ship, the Naval hospital I worked at and getting to travel to DC to see what she wanted to see. In Texas, she came to my graduations from military training and got to see the Riverwalk. When people came up to us because we were wearing ISU attire and ask if we were from Iowa, she’d proudly state how the best people came from Iowa and how great ISU was. Grandma always sent me ISU attire and always made sure I had the lastest game shirt. Even from so far away, grandma knew what to say when we talked on the phone. Grandma also made it a point to see me each time I came home to visit and spend a few hours with me, no matter what was going on. Grandma loved to take the grandkids out for dinner each birthday. When Grandma worked at ISU, she’d bring us pizza sized cookies from her work. Grandma made sure every holiday was celebrated together and that we each got a holiday card and presents. Even while in the Navy and living in California, Grandma sent me holiday cards. Grandma would also send just thinking of you cards too randomly throughout the year. Each card had paragraphs written inside and sometimes on the back when she ran out of room inside. And when she ran out of room on the back, she wrote notes on paper. Grandma was one of the first people to see my wedding dress and how her eyes lit up when I walked out and told me that my husband was a lucky guy to get to marry me twice. Grandma loved Sabas as much as she loved me, which meant the world to me. Grandma wasn’t hard on me for getting eloped because grandma also got eloped herself to my grandpa, so she knew what it was like and how it felt. Grandma was so proud when I told her I got accepted into ISU.
Grandma was a fighter. My Grandma battled cancer, twice and WON. She almost died three times during her battles, the doctors said she wasn’t going to make it and she beat the medical odds, baffled doctors and was said to be a walking miracle. She was gifted nine more years with us. Grandma believed in community and how important it was to give back. Grandma was a volunteer at the hospital, volunteered for the church, visited people while they were sick or recovering in the hospital or their homes, she baked for bake sales, she believed in the power of togetherness. Stronger together and strength in numbers. She could never let someone feel like they were alone and if they did, she was there to let them know that they weren’t. Grandma had wisdom from years of helping to raise her six younger siblings, raising her own three children (especially on her own after my grandpa died) and helping to raise her five grandchildren. Grandma was the rock of the family. Grandma had the patience to help or to listen but had no patience to just do nothing. Grandma was always on the go. There was always something to do, somewhere to be and someone to visit. Grandma couldn’t go anywhere in town without someone stopping to talk with her and if I was with her, telling me how amazing of a person my grandma was. I told my grandma once that she was a walking, talking encyclopedia of Boone because she seemed to know everything. And if she didn’t, she knew someone who did.
Grandma was one of a kind. Grandma had a heart of gold. Grandma will forever live on in my heart and I will always think of Grandma throughout everything I do in life. I am and will always be proud to be known as Charlotte’s granddaughter. ❤️
I’ll probably end up posting more memories as time goes on. I know that my family appreciates the memories being shared and it is truly amazing to see how many lives my Grandma impacted. 💗

Johnathan wrote this:

Last night, we lost our greatest treasure in our family, your prayers are appreciated but please by all means share stories with us that you have with our grandmother, I don’t think any of grandkids will mind I’m more than willing to listen to any and all stories, she was always doing something with someone or stopping by to see how everyone was doing, she was a great teacher if you wanted to learn how to cook and a great person to talk to and she’d always give the best advice, she will always be the best cook most people have ever tasted (if you have gotten to eat her cooking, you’re lucky.) But she was known as a fighter having beaten cancer twice, like who else do you know has done that, I can’t think of anyone.
But none the less she will be watching over us all and guiding us in her usual way, thank you Grandma B. You’ll be missed more than you know. But I’m glad to know that you’ll be happy with Grandpa Gerald and everyone else.

Kupono wrote this:

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to an extraordinary woman yesterday. I’ve only had the pleasure of knowing her for 3 years but she still had such an impact on my life. Alexis told me how much she means to her so I knew when I got to meet her, it was important to Alexis. What really impacted me was that from the day I met her, she treated me as though I was already married to Alexis. Almost like she knew what was going to happen before we even knew. From there I spent holidays at her home where she welcomed me with open arms, multiple days where we simply came over for pancakes (I’ve tried to make them as good and I can assure you it’s impossible,) as well as even taking me to some ISU basketball games which I honestly didn’t think I’d like but really ended up enjoying a lot. Alexis and I were also able to give you great grandchildren and knowing you got to meet them and spend some time with them means the world to us. While it was a short time, you still had such an impact on my life that I will never forget. Speaking for myself, as well as anyone else who’s had the pleasure of having you in their lives, we will all miss you. Love you grandma B 💜

I’ll share my thoughts at a later date.

One thought on “Mom’s Obituary”

  1. These are absolutely lovely. Wonderful testaments to a life truly, truly well-spent loving and being loved.

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