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Charlotte Eliza Riegelhuth

1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Charlotte Eliza Riegelhuth Obituary

Charlotte Eliza Riegelhuth, born October 21, 1926 to Joseph John and Irene Gabrielli, passed away peacefully on November 15, 2015 with four generations of family by her side. She married H.E. Peck and they had two children, Sharon Caven and Steven Peck. They later divorced and she married Edward Riegelhuth; to that union was born Shawn Contento.

Charlotte was born in Sacramento, and while she and Ed moved around a little, they never ventured far. Most of the years, while the children were in school, they lived in Woodland, Marysville and Olivehurst. Ed and Charlotte both worked, but their focus was raising and showing German Shepherds, and supporting the children in their activities including Rainbow Girls, roller skating and various sports. When the children grew up and moved away, they moved to Sacramento and for some years they still worked, but focused their fun time showing dogs, both Shepherds and Bearded Collies, involvement in the Masonic and Eastern Star organizations, and travel. They made several trips to Europe, China/Hong Kong, and Russia, as well as to Alaska and Montana to be with their children and grandchildren. After the love of her life passed away in 2001, she traveled frequently with the "Vagabonds" (a group of Masonic friends), and to New York and Italy with her daughters.

Charlotte worked in many places, but was most proud of her years as Secretary/Treasurer and CFO of Baldwin Contracting in Marysville. She was Past Worthy Matron of Natoma San Juan Chapter #233, Order of Eastern Star, with Ed as her Worthy Patron. She was also Past Worthy Matron of Marysville-Friendship Chapter #55 OES, Deputy Grand Matron District 7, a member of Menzaleh Temple #16 Daughters of the Nile, and volunteered at the Sacramento Scottish Rite Children's Language Center.

While she enjoyed travel, her dogs and "dog friends", and her community service involvement, to Charlotte family was everything. She raised her children, and indirectly her grandchildren to be kind, be fair, work hard, and love your family above all else. She taught by example and dropped everything to be at every family event possible. She didn't miss a wedding, and officiated one of them. She only missed one birth because she was boarding a plane to Italy. She marveled at the twin great-grandbabies in the NICU unit in Tacoma and the wonder of science that they would grow to be healthy. She attended graduations - except when two grandchildren graduated from college in two States at one time, and only missed birthdays because her family was spread out between Alaska, Washington, Montana - so she learned to Facetime. There was no stopping her when she learned to text, follow the kids on Facebook and use her I pad to Facetime with them. At 89 she was pretty amazing.

In March of 2015, Charlotte's COPD worsened and she had to cope with life on oxygen which for a time included a broken shoulder from a fall. In true fashion, she carried on as best she could with little complaint. Her smile was as bright as ever and at the end of her life, we watched the hospital staff come to care about her as we did. The night before she passed, with most of her four generations of family present, we had a Celebration of her Life. She told stories we didn't know and we told stories we thought she didn't, and she played along with it. In the end, she taught us all that it would be ok, even though she would be gone.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, husband Edward Riegelhuth, and her son-in-law John Caven. She is survived by her children: Sharon Caven, Steven Peck and Shawn Contento; 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at the San Juan Masonic Center, 5944 San Juan Avenue, Citrus Heights, California on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 10 a.m.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Mar. 9, 2016
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