Charlene Elizabeth Charsha
August 19, 1927 – September 7, 2018
Charlene Elizabeth Charsha, 91, of Odessa, Texas, passed away on September 7, 2018.
Charlene was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and grew up in the oilfields with her mother Opal (née Steele) and her loving stepfather Watson Dickey, the only father she ever knew. Typical of those working in the oilfields (her father worked for Cities Service Oil Company), they moved frequently and lived in a variety of places (some of which did not have electricity or indoor plumbing); but she spent her last 1 ½ years of high school in Odessa, graduating from Odessa High School in 1943 at the age of 15; she was the class salutatorian and a recipient of a full college scholarship from Cities Service Oil Company. An intelligent young lady, Charlene attended one year of college at Angelo State College in San Angelo, TX, majoring in Chemical Engineering before meeting her husband-to-be, Grover A. Charsha, from Carney’s Point, NJ, on July 4, 1944. Grover was receiving bombardier training at the Army Air Base in Midland and received his commission as a 2nd lieutenant there. They married November 7, 1944, at Westover Field outside of Springfield, MA, where Grover was stationed, and moved into their first apartment in Holyoke, MA. After Grover’s discharge from the Army Air Corps, they moved to Hobbs, New Mexico in 1945, where they lived until moving to Odessa in 1975. Charlene and Grover would have celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary in November this year. Charlene was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Risen Lord in Odessa, and prior to that was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Hobbs, NM. At various times, Charlene was a hospital volunteer, was active in her church, and worked with Meals on Wheels. A major challenge in Charlene’s life, and one which she met with love and caring and at times much concern, was the continuing care of her youngest daughter Cherie, who had suffered brain damage at birth and is developmentally disabled. During this time she formed an enduring friendship of over 50 years with Carolyn Borland, of Hobbs, NM, who also had a developmentally disabled child. Charlene is survived by her husband Grover, a sister Jacklyn Lathram, of Hobbs, NM, and by five daughters: Dr. Deborah Charsha-May (husband Allan May), who lives in Ijamsville, MD; Annette Pippin, who lives in Kapaau, HI; Kim Charsha (husband Alan Hahn), who lives in Schaumburg, IL; Kandis Charsha (husband Dave Thomas) who lives in Vancouver, WA; and Cherie Charsha, who lives in Odessa, TX. Charlene is also survived by six grandchildren, two great-grandsons, two great-granddaughters who will be born this fall, and other family and friends. We know that Charlene is now at home enjoying her reunion with her beloved maternal grandmother, Ada Steele, and with her mother and father. Plans for a memorial service are pending; details will be forthcoming at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a contribution to a charity for the developmentally disabled in your area.
- Gover Charsha, Husband
- Jacklyn Lathram, Sister
- Dr. Deborah Charsha-May and husband Allan, Daughter
- Annette Pippin, Daughter
- Kim Charsha and husband Alan Hahn, Daughter
- Kandis Charsha and husband Dave Thomas, Daughter
- Cherie Charsha, Daughter
- Charlene is also survived by six grandchildren, two great-grandsons, two great-granddaughters who will be born this fall, and other family and friends.
- Charity for the developmentally disabled in your area.