Oct 28th 1928 - Jul 1st 2012
Charlotte Arthur had an unending zest for life. She lived fully and completely at every opportunity, and with family by her side, she could not have been happier. A talented woman in many respects, she added her own special touch to everything she did. Most importantly, Charlotte was a devoted and wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend who placed the love of family above all. Fondly remembered, she will be sorely missed.
Charlotte’s story began in the year 1928. An exciting time in our nation’s history, the Roaring Twenties redefined the culture of America while the entertainment industry boomed. The discovery of Penicillin forever changed the field of medicine, and legendary baseball players set astounding records. Although the U.S. was on the brink of the Great Depression, a most welcome event in the lives of Carl Gus and Irene Amelia (Halsrud) Thorson included the birth of their first child, Charlotte, born on October 28, 1928.
Born in the small village of Bode, Iowa, Charlotte's parents were hard working farmers who later relocated east to the village of Buckingham, Illinois where Charlotte was raised. As the oldest child, she in time welcomed the birth of her younger brother, Arnold. He would come to be Charlotte's one and only sibling. Charlotte worked very hard as a child. She grew up on their family farm where chores were done each day before and after school. As she grew older, she helped her father raise her younger brother after their mother sadly died at the age of 42. As if times were not already a struggle, the onset of the Great Depression only added to these times of hardship for Charlotte and her family.
Amidst these times, Charlotte enjoyed attending the local schools where she made many friends. Her love of life was evident even then as she always looked on the bright side of things. Not only was she popular and outgoing, Charlotte was an intelligent girl who excelled in her studies. In high school, she was homecoming queen and by her peers was elected Class President before graduating from Reddick High School. She soon landed a job with Dunn and Bradstreet as a dictaphone girl and also worked at City National Bank in Kankakee for a time.
At this point in her life, Charlotte was introduced by her friend Ruth to the young man of her dreams. Harry Arthur was a handsome fellow, who also happened to be the brother of Charlotte's friend, Ruth. Before long the two began dating and fell deeply in love. On June 6, 1948, they shared vows of marriage at the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois. Married to the love of her life, they walked side-by-side for the next 63 wonderful years together.
Family was most important to Charlotte, and was especially so when they began a family of their own. With five great children, she could not have loved Gary, Lonnie, Karen, Kevin, and Linda more. She made a good home for Harry and the kids. Over the years many memories were made during special occasions, the holidays and through times in between. Along with raising their family, Charlotte also worked outside the home when her children were growing. Before long she became the office manager of their family businesses, Arthur Motor Works, Inc., Arthur Industrial Park, Arthur Electronics, and A&M Communications.
When grandchildren came along, Charlotte was overjoyed. More family to love, she was just as blessed when her 16 grandchildren went on to having families of their own, abundantly blessing her with 14 great-grandchildren. From her own children to extended family, attending the kids events and games gave her great satisfaction.
Throughout the years, Charlotte and Harry shared a love for travel. Since 1967, they vacationed in Sarasota, Florida on Siesta Key every year and traveled throughout the U.S. to places such as Ephraim, Wisconsin by car. They took a cruise ship to Alaska and also visited relatives in England and Norway several times. The last several Christmases were spent in Arizona with family.
Charlotte loved china painting and had her own kiln, too. She was very crafty with endless creativity. She even designed the blueprints for the last two houses they built and lived in. Charlotte loved to garden, planted flowers, and enjoyed and took pride in their beauty. She was involved at Asbury United Methodist Church in the Women's Circle and served as past president of the Asbury United Methodist Women. She also loved playing cards, especially bridge. With her love for musicals, she loved going to the Drury Lane Theater as well as the Kankakee Valley Theater.
Quite simply, Charlotte loved life and all it had to offer. She loved being in the company of family and friends who brought her great joy. Deeply missed, she will be fondly remembered in the hearts of many.
Charlotte L. Arthur, age 83, of Kankakee, Illinois, passed away Sunday, July 1, 2012 at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents; and beloved Harry on January 12, 2012. Charlotte is survived by her sons: Gary Arthur of Arizona, Lonnie (Krisann) of Bourbonnais, Kevin (Rhonda) of Bradley,IL., two daughters; Karen (Dennis) Lard of Colorado and Linda Dote of Arizona; sixteen grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; her brother; Arnold (Marilyn) Thorson of Kankakee.
A gathering time for family and friends will be held Friday, July 6, 2012 from 4-8 PM at the Kankakee Chapel of the Schreffler Life Story Funeral Home. A viewing will be held Saturday, July 7, 2012 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Kankakee at 10:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM. Burial at Kankakee Memorial Gardens in Aroma Township following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Family Wishes. Please visit Charlotte’s personal memory page at www.schrefflerfuneralhomes.com where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and to sign her online guest book.