Charlotte Crystal Canfield Green, 91, died April 15, 2009, at her daughter’s home in Baker City
Her cremains will be buried next to her husband Philip’s in the Green family plot on Vashon Island.
Charlotte was born in Seattle, Wash., on July 15, 1917, to Emma Meyer Canfield and Virgil David Dewitt Canfield. She grew up on the small island of Vashon, Wash., where she met her cherished sweetheart, Philip, when she was 15.
They married in June 1936, and attended the University of Washington in Seattle together. She majored in home economics and he majored in social work and together they were practice partners for the University tennis team.
They spent 69 years of happy marriage until his death in 2005. Together, they provided love and guidance to their five children, Cheryl, Aletha, David, Heather and Hollyn.
As a mother and woman, Charlotte was, above all, supremely generous, family members said. Her children never lacked for her full attention.
Each evening, dinner represented the knowledge of balanced nutrition plus the lifelong skill of good cooking. Holidays were a fantastic feast, with preparation starting days ahead.
Threaded throughout her family life, Charlotte was wonderfully creative. The holiday home was festooned with seasonal displays. Every few years, the walls of the house were re-papered in soft boat scenes, or palm fronds or other exotic designs, not due to wear and tear but due to a happy embrace of new light and color.
Likely, Charlotte’s greatest expression of talent was through her sewing. She made beautiful suits from Vogue patterns reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy’s wardrobe, a woman she greatly admired, that she would wear to social events in Washington, D.C., where Philip was in government, and to diplomatic affairs when they traveled together on business to Copenhagen and Cairo and South America.
She became a local celebrity when she personally tailored for her two eldest daughters‚ weddings held just a week apart in August 1961. The brides, the mother of the bride, and the full entourage of bridesmaids were resplendent in Charlotte’s dramatic creations.
Any memory of Charlotte’s home includes books and books and books. Charlotte was a devoted reader throughout most of her 91 years. Even during the early years of television, the family would encircle the novelty of Bonanza or Walt Disney’s World of Color, while Charlotte huddled in the kitchen engrossed in a novel.
Family trips to the local library were more common than to the grocery store. Charlotte’s prodigious reading habit made her an easy winner in any Scrabble or crossword contest.
These memories are not static, but a living legacy of contribution to her family and community, her family said. Charlotte’s lessons of generosity, expressed in the family circle or through leadership of United Way campaigns, were absorbed by her children and are expressed today through careers in service work. Likewise, Charlotte’s spontaneous creativity and passion for learning imprinted a lifelong example that nourishes her children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s minds.
“Charlotte Canfield Green – your wit and wisdom and grace are a loss that will not be replaced,” her family said. “But your gifts to us all continue each day.”
She was preceded in death by her brothers, Donald and Herb; her husband, Philip; and her daughter, Cheryl Friedman.
Survivors include one brother, Basil Eugene; her son-in-law William Friedman; son Philip David and his wife, Debbie; daughters Aletha, Heather and her husband, Calvin, and Hollyn and her husband, Mainus Sultan; grandsons, Warren Green, Brendan Flowe and Gordon Bonebrake; granddaughters, Sylvia Bonebrake Bowers, Jennifer Bonebrake Harting and Kajori Sultan; and great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Franklin, Lena and Stella Bowers and Frank and Emma Harting.
She was lovingly cared for the last year and a half by Charles Nalley, a certified nursing assistant, of Baker City.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Library through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 21, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor