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Charlene “Char” Christine Edwards Obituary

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Charlene C. "Char" Edwards 29424477

Charlene “Char” Christine Edwards, 82, of West Chicago, IL, passed away peacefully with her children by her side after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born in Melrose Park, IL to Clarence C. and Lydia M. (neé Stang) Ehlert. Preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband of 59 years, Robert M. Edwards, her sister-in-law Shirley J. Ross, her brother-in-law Rev. Marvin G. Albright, and her niece Gayle Albright.

Charlene was a 1958 graduate of Glenbard West High School. After graduating from Elmhurst University in 1963, she worked as a teacher at Washington School in Elmhurst for 5 years until her family began to grow. A daughter, a son and another daughter later, she decided to dedicate her life to raising her children until they were in school full-time. She returned to teaching preschool in Wayne for 3 years and taught in a special needs classroom in Lombard for 8 years. In the late 1980s, her interest in computer technology took her in a different direction and she left the classroom for opportunities in the business world, working in executive support for the Information Technology sector at Navistar International in Melrose Park, IL. Char retired at age 69 after 20 years of dedicated service to spend more time with her family.

She was a wonderful mother, always quick with a hug or a helping hand. She would stay up late to type school reports, never missed a sporting event, and somehow managed to get her kids to practices, dentist appointments, piano lessons – all with nary a complaint. These feats were balanced all while cooking dinner every night, cleaning the house, doing all the laundry, tending a garden, and making the house feel like a home. She made every birthday, holiday, or special occasion beautiful, full of love and always with an abundance of delicious homemade food. With a passion and a talent for gardening, Char could often be found tending to her perennial garden and flower pots, always planting, transplanting, arranging, and rearranging the garden scheme. Later, she became a cherished grandmother to her three grandchildren and treasured the time spent with them.

Char spent the last several years of her life, with the help of her son, Eric, as an amazing caregiver to her husband as he battled through the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. It is not how they intended to spend their retirement together, but she never complained. She was patient, kind, loving, selfless, and as tough as they come. Sadly, just as she was beginning to grieve the loss of her husband, her own cancer diagnosis came. She put up a courageous fight throughout, as anyone who knew her believed she would.

She is survived by her loving children, SueEllen Edwards (John Bell), Eric Edwards, and Julie Wesselhoff (Randy); grandchildren Ian, Beckham, and Campbell Wesselhoff; sister JoAnn Albright (the late Rev. Marvin G. Albright), and nieces and nephews David Albright (Shirley), Tom Albright (Judy), and Debbie Welch. She will be sorely missed by her extended family and by her many friends and coworkers.

Charlene did not want a memorial service but she loved the idea of a tribute tree to be planted in her memory next to her husband, Bob’s tree at the Morton Arboretum. Donations can be made through the Morton Arboretum’s Tribute Gifts page. Visit www.charedwardsmemorialtree.com then select “Donation for Honoree.” Arrangements were handled by Norris-Segert Funeral Home in West Chicago. Arrangements were handled by Norris-Segert Funeral Home in West Chicago. 

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