Charlene C Andrews
Feb. 3, 1922 - June 22, 2014
Resident of Alameda
Born in Hollywood in 1922, Charlene Chapman Andrews was the only child of Harriet Lander Chapman. After graduating from Hollywood High School in 1939 she attended college in Riverside. She married a US Navy
sailor named Derrick Andrews in 1943 and was building wing components for P38 planes during WWII in San Diego. When her husband left the Navy he became a state park ranger in California. They lived in state parks in Castle Crags, Big Sur, Mt. Tamalpais, and Armstrong Redwoods.
She completed her college degree at San Francisco State University in 1958 while living on Mt Tamalpais, with 4 young children and 2 foster children in the home. During this time she was organist for a small Baptist church in Mill Valley. One day a pig came into the yard on Mt Tamalpais, which she managed to lasso and then barbecue!
Charlene became an Oakland schoolteacher
, beginning with home instruction in 1959, then teaching math at King, Hamilton, Westlake and Montclair. After she retired from teaching 28 years in Oakland, traveling around the world became her mission and her joy. She visited more than 40 countries, most with her partner Gerhard Goeckel. Charlene also loved to camp in her younger family years: she often took her 5 children on camping trips to Yosemite and Hume Lake.
Being a very generous person, Charlene contributed to several Christian missions and camps and various charities. As a single parent of 5 children, and being on a limited income, she still found ways to give to those less fortunate, instilling in her children a compulsion to share what God has blessed them with. She also had a gift of encouraging others through laughter; she had a large file full of jokes and cartoons she cut out of magazines and a large box of greeting cards to send with the photocopied jokes.
In 2008 she learned she had a cousin in the area, who had written a book about her ancestors. It was discovered several of her ancestors were famous military men and are buried in the Presidio Cemetery in San Francisco. Her great uncle was one of the first men to join Abraham Lincoln's volunteer army, and then and rose to the rank of Major General of the US Army. Her grandfather and great grandfather were also military heroes, graduates of West Point, and are buried in the Presidio Cemetery in San Francisco. In 2005 she received a check, along with 45 other relatives, which was the settlement of a 60 year lawsuit/investigation over a land dispute: her ancestors owned 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC (which is now the address of the White House) because the property was illegally taken from the family.
Charlene could be seen about town driving her very purple 1996 Lincoln Town Car until 3 years ago when Alzheimer's dictated the surrender of her driving license. She entered heaven on Sunday June 22, 2014, peacefully, in her sleep, at her home on Bay Farm Island with her daughters nearby. She is survived by her longtime partner and best friend, Gerhard, 4 children, 3 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. We all will miss her humor and love.
At her request, no funeral service was held. A private family burial was held at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.
Contributions to Mount Hermon Christian Camps Scholarship fund would enable kids to attend camp, (831)335-4466.