Charlotte (Downey) BOUTIN

  • "My sincere sympathy to the family for the loss of your dear..."
  • "My sincere sympathies to the Boutin family. Steve and..."
    - Sandy VanderPol
  • "She was one of the kindest people I have ever met."
    - Sondra Hamelin
  • "My thoughts are w/ the Boutins, the finest of neighbors...."
    - Dave Richardson

BOUTIN, Charlotte (Downey)

Charlotte "Tink" Boutin passed away on March 21, 2014, at the age of 91. She was born in Berkeley, California on March 23, 1922, the daughter of Stephen and Persis Downey.

As a young girl growing up in Sacramento, she enjoyed horseback riding and family stays in Carmel. During her teenage years, she frequently worked on Saturday mornings at the Downey Brand law firm founded by her father. She attended Sacramento High School until her senior year when she attended Abbot Academy (now Phillips Academy) in Andover, Massachusetts. Following her graduation from Abbot, she returned to California to attend Stanford University where she lettered in badminton and participated in many organizations, including Gamma Phi Beta and Cap & Gown (Women Leaders at Stanford). While at Stanford, she made many life-long friends including her future husband and love of her life, Frank Boutin.

After her graduation from Stanford, Tink and Frank were married in Sacramento on July 1, 1944. Tink worked as a medical stenographer while Frank completed his education at Stanford Medical School. They then moved to Washington, D.C., where Frank served as a Captain in the Army stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Following Frank's army service, Tink, Frank and family returned first to the Bay Area and then to Woodland. Tink greatly enjoyed her 'Woodland' years and treasured the friendships the family made there. In 1961, Tink and Frank moved to Sacramento where they raised their six children.

Tink was an 'all-world' mother and grandmother, encouraging respectful conduct without ever raising her voice and always finding teachable moments in her children's daily activities. She enthusiastically cheered her children's and grandchildren's academic successes but also reminded them to be sure to 'go outside and get some exercise.' Tink was the heart of the family, energetically encouraging and sharing their many adventures and projects. Her warm and welcoming nature made the Boutin home a popular spot for family and friends.

Tink was very involved in the community she loved. She was an active volunteer in Sacramento Junior League and the Sacramento County Medical Auxiliary (now known as the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Alliance). Tink and Frank also frequently contributed their time and resources to causes they held dear, including Stanford University, Rotary Club of Sacramento, Mercy Foundation and public radio and television.

Tink was extraordinarily interested in genealogy, including as a member of the patriotic service organization Daughters of the American Revolution. She loved investigating her family history and was particularly proud of her grandfather, Colonel Stephen W. Downey, who was a distinguished Union officer in the Civil War and later the Founding Father of the University of Wyoming.

Tink loved the outdoors. She was an avid tennis player, swimmer, skier, and hiker. She particularly delighted in walks with family and friends along the American River, the Carmel beach, and at Pt. Lobos Natural Reserve. She was a voracious reader and relished learning about the people and cultures of the world through her many trips with Frank and their children. She enjoyed recounting their many adventures on these trips, including the time she was bitten by a cheetah in Kenya.

All who knew Tink will forever benefit from her boundless optimism, thirst for knowledge, wise counsel, infinite patience and good humor. She leaves us with a shining example of how to bring joyous energy to any situation.

Tink was predeceased by her husband, Frank, her sister, Wendy Teichert, and her brothers, Jack Downey and Stephen Downey. She is survived by her children: Sue Boutin Atkinson, Steve (Linda Thomas), Peter (Suzanne Jones), Don (Elizabeth Zack), Frank, Jr. (Linda Wenker), and Robert (Kristen Olotka); her 15 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; her sisters-in-law, Betty Downey, Lois Ladley and Agnes Robinson and many nieces and nephews.
A private funeral mass was celebrated on March 23, 2014.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, 955 University Avenue, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95825; or, the American River Parkway Foundation, 5700 Arden Way, Carmichael, CA 95608.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Mar. 30, 2014
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