Mary Charlene Staats

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Mary Charlene Whitstine Staats, age 78 of Crestwood, died July 13, 2017. She lived at Clarity Pointe Louisville for the past eight months as an Alzheimer's patient.
She raised their two sons, was an active PTA volunteer and president and enjoyed a career in banking in her early married years. As was common at the time, she supported her husband's eventual four decades-long career as a reporter, editor and administrator for The Associated Press.
Charlene is survived by her younger son, Sheldon Everett Staats (Cherie) of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and formerly of Anchorage, Kentucky, and her husband for 56 years, Howard Edgar (Ed) Staats of Parkersburg, West Virginia. She also leaves six grandchildren and one great-grandson – Jesse Lyle Staats, Lili Skye Staats, Kyle Stuart Miller, Ian Alexander Miller, Cullen Reese Staats, Ainslie Jewell Staats and Lili's son, Barrett Walter Meinberger. Preceding her in death were her parents, Vardell Everett and Floy Jones Whitstine of Corpus Christi, Texas, and her elder son, Jeffrey Lyle Staats (Miranda) of Marin County, California.
Charlene was born in the town of Kenedy in South Texas, where her father was an oil-field drilling superintendent, and later lived in Corpus Christi where she was graduated from W.B. Ray High School. She attended The University of Texas at Austin and earned a bachelor of science degree. The university is where she and Ed met and where she was a member of Delta Zeta sorority.
After following her husband's career to nine AP bureaus and corporate headquarters in New York, Charlene and Ed settled into Louisville in the mid-1980s. Soon thereafter, Charlene rediscovered her love of singing and joined the Pride of Kentucky Chorus. She sang with the internationally award-winning a cappella, four-part barbershop harmony chorus for more than 30 years. During that time she served several terms as chorus president and for three years administratively oversaw the four-state region of Sweet Adelines International of which her chorus was a part. She was honored upon her retirement from the chorus with a lifetime chapter membership.
After her husband's retirement, the couple traveled abroad on adventuresome trips to mostly emerging countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Tibet, China, Zimbabwe and Albania, among others. But their favorite vacation destination turned out to be the Hawaiian Islands and especially Kauai, which they visited more than a dozen times. They were members of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Middletown for 15 years before moving to Oldham County where they have been worshiping at Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church for 17 years. Charlene enjoyed singing in the choir at both churches and served as an elder at Trinity.
The family wishes to thank the caring and professional staff at Clarity Pointe. During much of 2016 she received excellent care at home by Family Tree Care Services and her final days were made easier by the amazing staff from Hosparus. Contributions in memory of Charlene are suggested for Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 365, Pewee Valley KY 40056, or Pride of Kentucky Chorus, c/o The Clifton Center, 2117 Payne St., Louisville KY 40206 A memorial service was held at Pewee Valley Presbyterian on July 16, 2017.
Cremation was chosen. Arrangements were under the direction of Rattermans Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Rd., East Louisville.
Funeral Home
Ratterman Funeral Home
12900 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243
(502) 244-3305
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Published in The Oldham Era on July 20, 2017
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