Charlotte H. Coffelt
1938 - 2021
{ "" }
Share
Share Charlotte's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Charlotte Hollopeter Coffelt
1938-2021
Charlotte Hollopeter Coffelt passed away February 16th, 2021 in her Kingwood home surrounded by her family and caring nurses. She leaves behind her loving husband of 62 years, Don, four of her sisters, Virginia Bracken Awtrey, Marilyn Sherrod, Judy Turner, and Charlene Burns, her three children, Lori Christian Hathaway, Michael Coffelt, and Amy Coffelt, and five grandchildren Charlotte, Catherine and Camille Christian, and Austin and Savannah Coffelt, and their spouses.
Charlotte was born the third of eight daughters of Esther and Charles Hollopeter in Salina, Kansas on December 20, 1938. During her father's tenure with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, she resided in Fort Worth, Texas and Shawnee, Oklahoma before the family settled on a small farm southeast of Blackwell, Oklahoma.
Charlotte graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1960. Charlotte had an incredible passion for public service. She first served as an educator and fierce advocate for public education. Charlotte taught school in both Oklahoma and Texas public schools, and served as a principal of two elementary schools in the Atascocita area of Humble ISD after she obtained her Masters of Education Administration at Sam Houston State University. While raising her three children in Ponderosa Forest in Spring, Texas, Charlotte was the first educator elected and served two terms on Spring ISD's board of trustees, eventually serving as president.
Charlotte firmly believed that a quality education was the most necessary foundation for a prosperous community and nation. She also held the belief that learning was a life-long endeavor. Her children, grandchildren, and friends will fondly remember Charlotte as someone who always had a newspaper or magazine article she found informative ready to pull out of her purse and share with others. She loved to travel and learn about each place and its history. She continued to take college courses from both local and remote universities into her seventies, and loved to take her grandchildren to visit museums and see plays or ballets.
Charlotte always had a commanding presence. She was bold and passionate- qualities that aided her in her lifelong advocacy for justice. Charlotte actively engaged in political activities, running for a position on the Texas State Board of Education in 1998 and her area's seat in the Texas House of Representatives in 2004 as the Democratic nominee for both campaigns. She was a founding member and the second president of the River Oaks Area Democratic Women. She was also an active member of the Kingwood Area Democrats and the Harris County Democratic Party. Charlotte served for 6 years as a board member of Americans for the Separation of Church and State in Washington, DC.
Charlotte grew up as a farmer's daughter, and during her middle and high school years, she was assigned the responsibility to milk the cows morning and evening. She enjoyed the evening chore) and would on most occasions need to walk westward through wheat or alfalfa fields west of the barns to corral the cows and guide them into the barn where they would be stationed in a manner that they could be milked one by one. She would say that she always fondly remembered the earthy and fresh smell of the wheat fields where she would find the grazing cattle and guide them into the barn. Charlotte made her preference for cremation clear to her family. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," she would say; "just knowing that whatever remains can be mingled with soil would make a lot of sense to me."
Charlotte's remains will join her mother, father, and two of her sisters whom proceeded her in death, in the Eddy New Home Cemetery in Grant County, Oklahoma, a location very close to where her paternal grandfather's 160 acre farm settled in 1893.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.
"Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." Leo Tolstoy

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 22, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Graceful Memorial Chapel
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
11 entries
February 24, 2021
She was the dynamic leader of us who had the pleasure of being in her company. She will be missed and also remembered.
Nancy Johnson
Acquaintance
February 23, 2021
Charlotte was a beautiful person inside and out. She was a classy lady & a wonderful principal. Cherish the many memories you all shared together.
With love & sympathy,
Nancy Rogers
Brenham, Texas
Nancy Rogers
Teacher
February 23, 2021
Charlotte was a beautiful person inside and out. She was a classy lady & a wonderful principal. Cherish the many memories you all shared together.
With love & sympathy,
Nancy Rogers
Brenham, Texas
Nancy Rogers
Teacher
February 23, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Sharon
Teacher
February 22, 2021
Mrs. Coffelt was my school principal at Timbers Elementary in the 80's. She always wore a smile and gave everyone her upmost respect. I vividly remember her taking the time out of her busy schedule to pull me out of class to tell me that my brother was born, and my mom and brother are doing well. I am very happy that she continued to pursue her dreams and served on a school board in the area. She is one of the people who encouraged me to follow a career in education today.
Victoria Kuzminski
Student
February 22, 2021
I'm very sad to hear about her passing. She was my principal at Timbers Elementary. She made an impression on me as a child. I am very thankful for her service as an educator. Eternal rest grant unto her, Oh, Lord. May Your perpetual line shine upon her.
Kara Watson (Heileman)
Student
February 22, 2021
I wrote the following for the ROADwomen e-newsletter and wanted to share with Charlotte's beloved friends and family:

Last week was one of the worst Houston has ever experienced. The week was made even sadder with the news at week’s end that Charlotte Coffelt had died.
With her regal bearing and super sharp mind, Charlotte was a natural leader. When she was elected the second president of ROADwomen, she took over from the organization’s founder, Dalia Stokes. It is never easy to follow the founder but Charlotte used her steady but firm manner to maintain Dalia’s vision and confirm ROADwomen’s place as one of the premiere Democratic Clubs in Harris County.
When she was asked, as she often was, how a woman from Kingwood could be not just a ROADwoman, but its president, she always answered with what would become a ROADwomen mantra: “River Oaks isn’t a neighborhood, it’s a state of mind.”
Charlotte was passionate about helping people, not just through politics but with her day job as well. A life-long educator, Charlotte was a teacher, a principal, and a school board member...the first professional educator ever elected to the board of Spring ISD. It will come as no surprise that Charlotte was soon elected president of that board.
Charlotte Coffelt leaves a world that is better because of her life. She was a mentor to many including her own family. Her daughter, Lori Christian Hathaway, has built a successful career in Democratic politics. During Charlotte's tenure as ROADwomen president, her granddaughter, also named Charlotte and then still a high school student, accompanied her grandmother to every meeting.
Lori summed up her mother’s legacy on Twitter this weekend:
"She expected great things from us all, and she graded hard. She made us believe we really could. I’m so grateful she empowered us to aim high."
Sharon Williams
Friend
February 22, 2021
From Shawnee, Oklahoma to Kingwood, Texas and the wide world, Charlotte was indeed an educator in the finest sense of that word. Yes, she shared clippings and books and papers and mainly herself, reading, learning, and sharing throughout her life.
But Charlotte didn't just read and learn and educate. She also was a leader, in her everyday life and in her community. She ran for office, ready to serve if elected, but making the effort because she knew it was so important to have qualified people serving in these elected positions.
She saw a need for people to understand the Constitutional provisions protecting the Founder's insistence on the Separation of Church and State, as those Founders had left their homes of origin because of religious persecution at the hands of the state and its imposed religion.
So Charlotte started the Houston Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and served on the organization's national board for several years. Charlotte knew how important the separation of church and state was to our nation long before I knew there was a constitutional provision mandating it. And she educated me.
Charlotte was a friend, a mentor, and a national treasure who will be sorely missed but remembered fondly by us all. Many thanks to her family for sharing her with us!
Dalia Stokes
Friend
February 22, 2021
Don, Lori, Michael, Amy,
I am so sorry to hear of Charlotte’s passing and so sorry for your loss. She was a special friend in the years we both lived in Ponderosa Forest. I will always remember the good times we shared together. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Eleanor Egan
Eleanor Egan
Friend
February 21, 2021
I love mama Coffelt. She accepted into the family without hesitation, sharing family and food for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I feel honored too have known her.
Kerry Manning
Friend
February 20, 2021
Oh Don, Lori, Michael and Amy, I am so very saddened by Charlotte's passing. She was a remarkable woman whom I was privileged to know and work in leadership with. Being side by side with her opening The Timbers Elem. were very happy years of my life, and the times spent with her and your family were fun and special. I will keep you close to my heart in these days ahead.
Pat Dinhoble
Friend
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences