I only knew her as an older woman in her 80s. I thought she was beautiful. But the pictures I saw at her funeral today shows how truly pretty she was in her younger years. Charlene told me about 2 or 3 years ago that she always had "nice looking legs." She said she did not like her aging body, but she thought her legs still looked good!
They are standing as a family in front of the church her husband helped build.
The picture below is my favorite. Charlene was so proud of it and showed it to us before. I can't remember what the circumstances were, but she was with President David O. McKay. See her to the left of him? (I named my 3rd son after him.) He was our Prophet and President of our church when I was growing up (1951 to 1970 when he died) I found out today that he actually married Charlene and her husband in 1945 (I think that was the year).
Her son Perry started Charlene's eulogy today by talking about Christmas Eve 1920. Her 4 older siblings waited in anticipation of her birth as she was born on Christmas Day. Charlene's father had just died the previous April. Perry said baby Charlene helped heal her family's grief.
Her mother taught school so she got special permission for Charlene to begin school a year early so she could be near her mom and she wouldn't have to pay for her childcare. I'm sure her mom had to be very creative like that through the years, raising and supporting her 5 children, and never remarrying.
I sat in that chapel today reflecting on Charlene Miller's life... her challenges, her joys, her pains...many she shared with me over the past 6 years. I thought how we are not who we are in spite of our challenges...but perhaps because of them.
Dennis said he would describe her as "very very kind." I miss her already. I find myself wanting to call her up and tell her what a nice funeral she had today.