Mary Charlotte Warren

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WARREN, Mary Charlotte

Died peacefully at home after a long illness on December 26, 2012. She was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina on August 18, 1943. Her life was an adventure beginning in early childhood as an army brat exploring the geography of the world - from post-World War II Germany to serene Bangkok, Thailand of the late 1950's, and later exploring the divine in the geography of her higher consciousness. By the time she was 15, she had traversed the earth one and a half times, gathering an early and intense interest in other cultures and languages. She was married for four years to David Stray and lived in Derbyshire, England in the early 1970s. During her lifetime, she was a peace and social justice activist, taking part in war protests, and volunteering for programs such as AmeriCorps, Foster Grandparents and the Braille Institute. In the year 2000, she was drawn to Santa Barbara by the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, which resonated deeply with her life's work for the causes of peace and planetary responsibility.

Charlotte attended Marymount College of Virginia and graduated first in her class in 1963. She earned a master's degree in education from the Catholic University of America in 1991. Charlotte was a life-long student and committed her life to education. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and in later years was a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL). Charlotte also pioneered conflict resolution programs at the middle and high school levels and herself pursued further studies in conflict resolution at the Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her teaching posts included, among others, Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Vienna, Virginia, St. Philomena's Secondary School in Derbyshire, England, Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C, Montgomery College in Maryland, Ortiz Middle School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Santa Barbara City College.

Charlotte was an avid writer throughout her life. A philosophical work in epic verse authored by Charlotte and entitled "Gaia Earth City, Beyond the Politics of Survival: Rumors of an Alternative Political Order" is being produced posthumously as a documentary film. A musician with eclectic musical taste, she was particularly moved by the music of the Tingsha ensemble in Santa Barbara, who are contributing their sacred Buddhist music to the production.

Charlotte was committed to an ascetic life. She believed that a simple life, unencumbered by material possessions, opened up a richer spiritual life. An amazingly resourceful and caring person, Charlotte nurtured a wide network of deep, long lasting friendships, people from many walks of life. She is much loved by them and her large family. She is survived by her mother, Mary Kaul Warren, of Vienna, Virginia, four brothers and four sisters and their families.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m. at the Unity Church in Santa Barbara. A memorial service was held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna, Virginia on January 12. A final memorial will be held in Faribault, Minnesota, Charlotte's mother's birthplace, where she will be laid to rest in St. Lawrence Cemetery. Donations may be made to Missionaries of Charity Fathers (founded by Mother Teresa) or to Alice Keck Park.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Feb. 17 to Feb. 21, 2013
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