October 19, 2014: Karen’s Mother Passes

It is with great sadness that I report that my wife Karen's mother passed away. Below is part of her obituary:

Charlotte Marie Urbon passed away on October 19, 2014, at age 88. Charlotte was born to Mary and Eugene Flick in Rochester NY where she lived through childhood and early adulthood. Charlotte was educated at Nazareth Academy and College. She married William G. Urbon (Bill) and together they raised 3 children. Charlotte and her family moved from Rochester to Schenectady and Syracuse NY, Louisville, KY, Orchard Park and Pittsford NY, finally landing in Trumbull CT.

Charlotte was an avid golfer, and belonged to the Patterson Club for 34 years. There she made many good friends, shot a hole in one, and garnered many golf trophies and prizes. Charlotte was also a member of St. Theresa's Parish.

Charlotte loved wildlife and animals of all kinds. She loved to listen to music, and could sing like an angel. She liked to putter in her garden, to be closer to nature and to enjoy the outdoors. She loved watching sports, particularly football and the Lady Huskies basketball. When her children were young, she did not miss a football, basketball game, or a swim meet.

Charlotte is survived by her husband of 65 years, Bill, and children Larry, Bill Jr (Lee) and Karen Thomas (Chuck). She is also survived by her two grandchildren, Ryan and Allison. She was a kind and loving wife and mother, and will be missed dearly by her family and friends.

Below is Karen's rememberance, read at her memorial service:

I wanted to share some memories and thoughts about the most special person I have known.

Mom talked about her childhood with me, and she grew up poor and happy. Her father died while she was young, and her mother was a wonderful person who worked hard to support her family. Mom was raised in catholic schools, and went off to work in Rochester NY, her home town. It was while working that her future sister in law, Gerry, introduced her to her brother in law, Bill Urbon. Mom was thrilled to meet him, as she had admired him from afar on the bus on the way to work. They were married almost 66 years ago, and had a loving and close relationship right up until the last day. As my mom was hospitalized recently, she talked to me about her husband, her love and her concerns should she leave him first. The words that stay with me are "he is such a good man".

Mom was the stay at home mother to three kids, all born 2 years after each other. She was always there for us, to take us to football, basketball and swim practice, and to shuttle us to guitar and piano lessons, and to our various other activities and adventures. She volunteered at our grade school in the library, and was active in our school lives. The children's athletic events were family affairs, and I learned more about football than any young girl should know. She made us dinner - the whole family - every night, so we all had that time together despite the crazy schedules we had. As I look back, she was a super mom - selfless and present for her family, all the time.

We moved - a lot. That is when I learned that she was more than just a mom, and that she could be my best friend and confidant. She helped me grow up, deal with the tough stuff, and see the brighter side of situations. At times, I leaned on her too hard, but she was always there to hold me up and never complained.

She helped me find my first 3 apartments, driving all the way to Durham NC for the first, then New Jersey and then finally Ardmore. Of course, she knew me so well that she always helped guide me to the perfect place for me. And, we had fun doing it.

Mom loved our friends! She was always welcoming and embraced our new friends, boyfriends and girlfriends. The first time she met Chuck, while we were dating, she invited him to CT for Christmas! Without consulting me, I might add. And speaking of Christmas, she loved the holiday. She loved to decorate, and always went overboard with the presents. We always agreed to cut back, but that was just not in her wheelhouse. She would open her presents with great care and delight. The many presents she wrapped were always beautiful - Billy, mom and I used to have contest for the best wrapped gifts….mom typically won.

Mom enjoyed coming to visit in Philadelphia. We had our spots that we would frequent and she just loved seeing our house and meeting our friends. Mom and I had our annual trips to Chicago, which she eagerly anticipated, spending time with Bill and Lee, and her two very special grandkids, Ryan and Alli. She loved them so much, and was so proud of them and the way they were moving through life. She spoke proudly of Ryan with his first job and his advancement, and so in awe of Alli going to BC and navigating her freshman year.

She and dad spent many of their February's in Florida, and Bill, Lee and Chuck and I would visit them there often. Mom and Dad met many other snowbirds, and a trip to the pool became a true social hour. Mom always enjoyed the trips south- the pool, winter golf, and the warm weather. It was her chance to finally kick back and really relax.

I called my mom the energizer bunny….she just kept going, and going and going. For 20 years, she fought more cancer and chronic illnesses than any one person should ever face. But she was a fighter, and always kept a positive outlook. She was truly amazing, and to this day, I consider the last 20 years a gift.

The last fun thing we did together was to travel to Luc's this summer for dinner and to hear Larry and Noreen perform, and it was a beautiful, memorable evening. She was very proud of Larry's talent and music, and would listen to him play for hours.

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on earth. My mom loved me, supported me, entertained me, delighted me, and will live on in me, my family, and through everyone who had the great privilege to know her.

Bye Mom, I love you.

We will all miss you, Charlotte.

Me with Charlotte, Summer, 2013, on her beloved back deck:

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