Charlene Mae Unrein

January 8, 1939October 19, 2018
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Charlene Mae Unrein, age 79, of Portland, passed away peacefully on Friday October 19, 2018, in her home surrounded by her family. Charlene was born January 8, 1939, in Mannsville, Oklahoma to Frank Cremeen and Clydia Hollingsworth. Charlene was the eldest of seven children. Early in her childhood her family moved out west and settled in the Portland area. Charlene attended Camas Junior High in Camas Wa. before attending Jefferson High school and graduating in Portland Or. She enjoyed performing in Mr. Lotz's choir, in her favorite roll as the Ghost of Christmas Past in their production of "The Christmas Carol". At the young age of twenty one, Charlene married the love of her life Joseph Edward Unrein at Stephen's Catholic Church on May 7, 1960. At that time she was attending St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church. Charlene worked at Dennis Uniform as a packer until the birth of her first child.

Charlene loved hosting parties, tending her garden, being a co-troop leader for the Girl Scouts, singing in the Ave Maria Chorus for the Sisters of Reparation, Marian pilgrimages to Europe, writing poetry, talking on the phone, spoiling her grandchildren, hosting her "Sisters" luncheons, attending daily Mass and watching MGM musicals.

Favorite memories include dancing at her daughter's wedding, attending Mass at St. Peter's in Rome, hearing Mother Teresa speak in Boston, birthday parties with family and listening to piano music at the Georgian Room while having lunch with her best friend and husband Joseph, "It was just like Casablanca" she once wrote.

Charlene is preceded in death by her father and mother; her brother Wendell Cremeen and her son Joseph Edward Unrein Jr.

Surviving relatives include her spouse of 58 years Joseph Unrein Sr., her two daughters; Cecilia Waits (Mark) and Elizabeth Unrein. Two beautiful grandchildren; Austin and Anna Waits, and one great grandchild Augustine Waits. Siblings; Louise Cremeen in Gleneden, Or., Cathy Kelly in Portland, Or., Terry Law in Portland, Or., Lydia Hawkins in Portland, Or. and, Lila Reed in Portland, Or.

A visitation for Charlene will be held Monday, October 29, 2018 from 9:00 am to 9:30 am at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 5239 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97206 followed by a rosary service from 9:30 am to 9:50 am, a funeral mass and a luncheon afterward at the church. Later in the afternoon at 3:00 pm a burial will occur at Skyline Memorial Gardens, 4101 NW Skyline Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97229.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Unrein family.


  • Mark Waits
  • Austin Waits
  • Travis Law
  • Paul Cremeen
  • Chris Cremeen
  • Charles Berry


  • Visitation Monday, October 29, 2018
  • Rosary Service Monday, October 29, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Monday, October 29, 2018
  • Committal Service Monday, October 29, 2018

Charlene Mae Unrein

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jenny Maldonado (Cettina)

November 19, 2018

Dear Unrein family, I just want to express my sympathy. As kids, your mom put up with me knocking on your door pretty much every day asking if Lisa can play, and keeping an eye on us during whatever “adventures” we created in our old neighborhood. They are some of my best and treasured memories! The Cettinas send their love and prayers.

Mark Waits

November 2, 2018

Everyone she loves was here – these are the people she called her own, her family, her friends, her loved ones.

You might know her as Charlene, or Susie, or Mom, or Grandma. However, to me she was MIL (Mother in law), and I loved her. Over the years I have learned a few things, a few life lessons if you will, from MIL that I would like to share.

• Accept me for who I am
• Reach out to others. Call them – send them a card to say hi or happy birthday – write them a letter and find out how they are
• Stick to the recipe
• Explore food. There are recipes and dishes for all occasions and every type of music be it Cajun – Creole - Mexican – Irish.
• Tea will make it better
• Keep the faith and pray
• Save for a raining day – make do with what you have
• Popcorn is your friend
• If you have a party – invite everyone and share the fun

• There is one last thing I learned. Always agree with an Irishwoman who has a Shillelagh Stick and knows how to use it.

Mark Waits

Mary Unrein

October 30, 2018

Mom, your inner strength, your tact and diplomacy in the most difficult of times made you a great example I know I will never live up to. Truly "grace under fire". Thank you for your guidance and friendship at the lowest moments of my life. Clear to the end you were so accepting of God's will for you. I hope one day to be the kind, generous, sweet and caring woman of faith you were. Elizabeth

Terry Law

October 29, 2018

Our family was so blessed to have such a supportive, caring big sister. Although our lives were busy, she always had time to chat and bring her sisters together for our annual sister lunch. She was my role model and go-to person for questions about our faith. My family fondly remembers her parties (she was the ultimate hostess) and good times at her church spaghetti dinners. We love and miss you, Susie.