Charlotte Anne Gee

Charlotte Anne Gee - wife, mother, grand-mother, and above all else a learner and teacher – died peacefully on October 31, 2022 at the age of 94. Her life was full of adventure, inquiry, world travel, deep friendships, and laughter. A friend observed: "She was of quick wit and keen intellect, preferring conversations that delve deep to those that skim the surface. She loved a good debate, especially those that touched the political realm. Deep inside, she had an urgency to change the world and make a difference in the lives she touched.”

Charlotte was born in Palmyra, Missouri as an only-child, surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins from an early age on her grandparents’ farm. It was there that she kindled an affinity for roosters and began earning a reputation as a free-thinker that enjoyed coloring outside the lines. During the Great Depression, discouraged by patients who could only pay for his services by bartering farm produce, her physician-father moved Charlotte and her mother to Salt Lake City, Utah. From age three until she attended college, Charlotte lived with her parents in Salt Lake City, attending public schools and enrolling at the University of Utah during her senior year of high school.

At the insistence of her mother that she go “back East” for college, she enrolled in Stephens College, in Columbia, Missouri. While there, she earned her single-engine pilot’s license. Moving on to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, and was certified to teach kindergarten through 12th grade.

Her life focus and experience were singularly invested in and consumed by the learning/teaching process. She proudly earned a Master’s degree in Special Education from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, which enabled her to later write curriculum for “the student at risk. ” She was a special education teacher in the Des Moines school system throughout her career, finally retiring in 1989 from her position at Roosevelt High School. She held a lifetime membership in the National Education Association.

For Charlotte, the highlight of her career came when she was given the opportunity to mentor the same group of students from their freshman year through high school graduation. Upon graduation, she raised funds for a group-trip to Colorado. Many of these students were from the inner-city of Des Moines, with most never having flown on an airplane, or having been outside of the State of Iowa. It was a mind-blowing experience for all involved.

They flew United Airlines, were shuttled by an Air Force Academy van and housed at CSU. They toured the Airforce Academy, Rocky Mountain National Park and Cache le Poudre among other places. While in the Canyon, the van overheated and they formed a line and passed drinking cups of water from the river to cool the engine!

Being raised in Utah gave Charlotte a passion for the mountains which she carried with her all her life. Mountains were a source of inspiration and calm for Charlotte, be it the Colorado Rockies, the Grand Tetons, or the Swiss Alps, all of which held great significance for her. It was no surprise that she retired with the love of her life, husband Marvin, near Glen Haven, Colorado in 1989. They were long-time residents of The Retreat and more recently, Good Samaritan Village in Estes Park.

In 2005, along with her husband, she helped create a weekly study-discussion gathering called Journeys, within the Presbyterian Community Church in Estes Park. The participants identify themselves as progressive Christians and are comfortable “living the questions, ” while engaging in deep dialog about faith and beyond. The venue provided for meaningful interaction and long-lasting friendships that Charlotte enjoyed. Since COVID-19, this group of 25-35 participants, many beyond Estes, have continued to meet via zoom.

Charlotte was a member and served as an Elder at Community Church, was a League of Women Voters member and P. E.O. Chapter AV. She was initiated into the organization forty-years ago at the Chapter House in Des Moines.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her former husband Donald Richardson. Charlotte is survived by her husband of 50+ years, Marvin Gee; daughters Linda Barry and Sandra Ellison (Andrew), grand-daughter Shannon Barry; adopted daughter Sue Kock (Roger), step-children Debora Gee, David Gee (Jan) and Dana Gee Braun (Tom). Seven step-grandchildren include Nick Braun and Josh Braun, Mathew Gee, Michaela Gee, Jeff Kock, Jere Kock, and Janae Halstead, and one great granddaughter Olivia Halstead.

Alnutt Funeral Home provided cremation services. Charlotte's life will be celebrated in the Springtime of 2023. Donations to her memory can be made to Pathways Hospice or the League of Women Voters-Estes Park. Please visit www.Allnuttestepark.com to leave a message to the family.

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