Barbara Jean Charles
Passed away on April 2, 2021.
Barbara is preceded in death by her husband, James; son, Mike (Sandy); sister, Joan Heller.
She is survived by her children, Connie Humphrey, James Jr. (Julie), Jerry (Terri), Tony (Culleen); 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; siblings, Robert (June) Mitchell, James Mitchell, Ruth (Larry) Theiman; many friends and relatives.
Celebration of Barbara's Life 11:30am Saturday, April 10th at Bradshaw, 4600 Greenhaven Dr., White Bear, with visitation beginning at 10am. Interment at Evergreen Memorial Gardens. Livestream of service will be available.
Barb, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma is going to be missed deeply by so many. She was one of a kind, and although that sounds cliché, in her case it was true. The family finds comfort in knowing that she is reunited with her beloved son Mike, her daughter in law Sandy, and the love of her life Jim. We were all lucky enough to have an Angel on earth for as long as we did, and now have another Angel watching over us all. She lives on in each of the hearts she touched while she was here, and for that we are forever grateful.
One thing Barb loved were her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. Anyone can be a Grandparent, but it takes a special person to be an exceptional Grandparent. It takes a huge heart full of Love, Compassion, mixed in with a lot of fun. Grandma had all of these qualities in abundance. Each of us felt so loved, and so unique in her eyes. It’s why we all loved her as much as we did. Many of us wanted to share our favorite memories of Grandma and Great Grandma. As you will see below it’s easy to see why she was so beloved by her Grandchildren.
Granddaughter Shannon writes: When I think of Grandma, I think of her beauty that exploded with grace and confidence. I have fond memories as a kid seeing her rock that bikini every 4 th of July, with her tan skin, bright lipstick, and blue eyeshadow. She turned heads as she strutted her stuff all the way down to the lake. I know she did this to get a laugh, but I remember thinking she was beautiful and wishing to look just like her when I grew up.
Great Granddaughter Carolyn added: Her favorite memory of Grandma was how much she loved dogs. Great Grandson Dustin adds: His favorite memory of Grandma were the big bags of toys from the Goodwill.
Grandson Joe added: Grandma and I were both early risers, so every morning at the cabin we’d both wake up, get our caffeine fixes, watch the son come up and just talk about random things going on in this crazy world today.
Granddaughter Trish adds: One of the best memories of Grandma was when all the Granddaughters decided to do beauty makeovers. They did her makeover for her and she made them all do a photo shoot afterwards. Then she decided she needed to go to the bank, so she piled all the girls in the car with her and took them through the drive thru. The girls had been drinking all day, and were getting a little rowdy, but Grandma was a great sport and just laughed along with all of their shenanigans.
Granddaughter Lynn added: If I could use just one word to describe you it would be sweet. I loved that I got to spend Blizzards locked in the cabin with just you, Cole and me. When I was pregnant with Reese the day we found out she was a girl, you were the first person I called. No one makes pumpkin pie like you, and you had the best 4 th of July outfits. I remember riding in the car with you and your little handheld radio, because that was the only way you could listen to your Soap Operas. I always felt lucky when I got to come over and help set up the Christmas tree, going through each ornament with you. I loved being with you in the kitchen, wiping the sweat from your brow as you shouted DAMN IT. But everything always came out perfect. So many sleep overs and garage sales and thrift stores. You just knew how to make me feel special. And each Grandchild and Great Grandchild feels special because of you.
Granddaughter Jessie added: It was all the little things that made Grandma special. Baking with her, hours spent in the Goodwill, playing dice all night in Florida, the Christmases, cussing at the gravy on Thanksgiving, the way she loved us all, her sense of humor and spontaneity. All of it was just her, and it’s what made her not only an amazing Grandma, but an amazing person in general.
Great Granddaughter Alyson added: I would say my fondest memory of Grandma is her generosity. Whether it’s all the sweet she had around like cookies, cakes, gum balls and hard candies. Or all of the great (often hilarious) Thrift store gifts.
Great Grandson and Granddaughter Mason and Sophie added: They loved the Goodwill bags full of treasure they got. And how she always made sure they were well fed. Mason said his favorite memory was when he got tied to tree by all his cousins at the cabin, and he called Grandma over to help him but she just laughed and took pictures instead.
Granddaughter Wendy adds: Her favorite memories were her cooking, as whatever she made was always amazing. Her hugs and her way of making you feel special.
Grandson Tony added: His fondest memories were breakfast after sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Her being our chaperone at guys weekend at the cabin growing up. The trips to Florida. The birthday cards every single year, and if it was going to be late, she made sure to call. The long talks about life. Her sense of humor and one liners. The feeling of always knowing that no matter what she loved you unconditionally.
It goes without saying that Grandma made such a huge impact on all of our lives. And though some stories are the same, i.e. she was a great cook and an excellent thrift shopper, each of us had our own unique experiences with her that made us all feel special. It’s almost as if she gave up a piece of herself and gave it to each of us. We are all forever grateful for all the memories and the impact she had on each of our lives. We are all better people, and a better family because of it. Although this is goodbye for now, we will all hold on tightly to that piece of yourself that you gave to us all, and we will cherish all of the great memories made until we can see you again. We love you Grandma. Give Grandpa, Uncle Mike (Dad) and Aunt Sandy (Mom) a big hug for us all and we’ll see you soon.
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