Charlotte, the middle of three sisters, was born in Seattle and brought up in the family home on Seattle's Capitol Hill. She graduated from Garfield High School, where she first displayed her lifelong interest in art, theater, and music.
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She married Elroy (Al) Allen Graber in 1941, who was a Second Lieutenant in the US Army when World War II began. During the war, when Al was fighting overseas, Charlotte worked as a secretary for the US Army.
Later, her natural talent in art and design led to employment as a buyer for I. Magnin's, a high fashion designer store in Seattle.
After the war, and following Al's graduation from the University of Washington as a mining engineer, the young couple moved to Holden, Washington, a copper mining camp located high in the Cascades above Lake Chelan. Their son, Lee Graber, was born in Seattle in 1947 and spent his first years in Holden. The family lived in a log cabin and got their supplies by boat on Lake Chelan. Winters in Holden were severe, with snow piled all the way up to the eaves of their cabin. Al's mining career took the Graber family to small towns in beautiful areas throughout the West, including Grand Junction, CO; Sheridan, WY; and Grants, NM. Charlotte was gregarious and loved people. Wherever they lived, she made new friends, sought community service opportunities, and continued to develop her art talent.
She became an accomplished painter of landscapes, portraits, and floral arrangements in the Impressionist style.
In 1965 Charlotte and Al moved to Eilat, Israel to reopen King Solomon's copper mines under a USAID contract. They made many Israeli friends, enjoyed the Red Sea beaches, explored ancient archeological sites, and visited famous places described in Bible stories. Charlotte collected beautiful antiques during her travels around Israel, bargaining for treasures with Bedouin tribesmen at their tent encampments.
On vacations, Charlotte and Al traveled throughout Europe, and especially enjoyed Spain and Italy. After their return to the USA in 1969, Charlotte and Al settled in San Francisco, where Al worked at the headquarters of Utah Mining. In 1974, they decided to retire to Anacortes and bought a delightful home on acreage with a view of Mt. Baker. They loved Anacortes and lived in the community for 40 years. Charlotte volunteered at the community art gallery on Commercial Avenue and participated in many events to encourage local artists.
Charlotte's husband Al passed away in February 2013.
Charlotte is survived by her son, Lee; grandchildren, Ross and Lauren Graber; sister, Doris Marotta; her brother-in-law, Louis Graber; sisters-in law, Frances Graber and Laverne Culbertson; plus nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Charlotte's life will be held at the Majestic Inn, 419 Commercial Avenue in Anacortes, WA 98221, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Friday, April 25, 2014. Friends are warmly invited to attend.
Charlotte will be laid to rest at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Seattle on April 26, 2014, in a private family ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Charlotte's memory to The Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 75817, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Charlotte, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Evans Funeral Chapel - Anacortes
1105 32nd Street Anacortes, WA 98221
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Apr. 16, 2014