Charlene Yates, 76, of Granville Ohio, passed away peacefully at home on March 19, 2021 surrounded by her family. She was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945 to Edward and Florence Lechtanski. When she was a teenager, her parents and sister, Arlene, moved to Ohio after her father took a job at Western Electric in Reynoldsburg. She attended Bishop Hartley High School and, despite cutting class on at least one occasion to dance in the gym, she graduated in 1962 and began working at Western Electric (along with her father & future husband). Shortly thereafter, she was crowned the first Miss WE-Ohio (workplace beauty pageants were commonplace in the 1960’s). Her time at Western Electric remained a source of pride for several years, even after she moved on to start a family.
Charlene is survived by Dave Yates, her loving husband of 53 years. They met during high school and after a few years they got married, bought a home, and started a family. As an avid traveler, Charlene absolutely loved exploring new destinations. Whether it be a simple car ride on a Sunday afternoon, a cross-country family vacation out west or extensive international cruises; Dave was always by her side. It was during one of those Sunday car rides, that they happened to stop in a pretty little village. They fell in love with the area and, undaunted by the blizzard of 1978, decided to build a house and move their two young children to Granville. Once there, they were welcomed into the community and were blessed with neighbors who became life-long friends. One of the primary reasons they picked Granville, was the quality of the school system. Dave & Charlene knew this was the right place to raise their family and would have done anything for their kids. Creating a better life for her family was a recurring theme throughout Charlene’s life.
Beloved mother to her son and daughter, she is survived by Brock (Joyce) Yates and Brett (Ben) Jump. When Brock was very young, she would spend hours patiently tutoring him; not ever letting him fall behind in school. She would remain his guardian angel for the rest of her life. She so enjoyed the many shopping trips she would take with Brett. They would giggle while showing Dave only the “sale” purchases, hiding the rest in the trunk of the car. Later in life, as her mobility declined, Brett was quick with at-home mini spa days, joyous sing-a-longs and “dance parties”. Charlene loved music, especially Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli (really anything that could be choreographed with the Bellagio Fountains).
Charlene was a lifelong gardener, who could identify any variety of plant or flower with ease. In the 1980’s she owned and operated The Bloomin’ House, a flower & gift shop located on the grounds of the former Bryn Maur Restaurant. She was a gifted artist and over the course of her life used her talents to bring joy to others by creating beautiful flower arrangements, wonderful ceramic pieces and, on occasion, unique (albeit somewhat misunderstood) ceiling frescos.
After her kids went off to college, Charlene stepped outside her comfort zone and went back to work. She worked for Friends of Disabled Citizens of Licking County where she coordinated a horseback riding program for children with developmental disabilities and arranged many other impactful charity events. She also spent time as a new account manager with Shannon Staffing before finally retiring with Dave to enjoy their next chapter together.
In 1990’s, Charlene & Dave moved “full-time” to Apple Valley Lake near Mount Vernon Ohio. For the next 25 years, they thoroughly enjoyed lake life. Charlene loved waking up in the stillness of the morning and looking out across the sparkling water, taking late afternoon boat rides and just relaxing together with Dave enjoying another sunset over the hills. They also loved hosting friends & family and welcomed one and all to the lake. Whether it was an impromptu family gathering or a large 4th of July celebration, Charlene always made sure there was an overabundance of food. Often after a big meal, she would (repeatedly) ask her stuffed guests if they were still hungry. Most would politely decline. A few moments later, a cheese tray or a peanut butter pie would appear.
She was a devoted grandmother and was known as “Nan” to Davidson and Isabella Jump. These two absolutely filled her with pride. Some of her fondest memories were singing “you are my sunshine” to Davidson and telling anyone she would meet about her beautiful granddaughter Bella the “tumbler”. Annual family trips to the North Carolina seashore will forever live on in the sweet memories she created with her grandkids. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Spencer (Laura) Coffin, Greg Coffin and Caren (Chris) Buscovich.
So long as bluebirds fly, we will never forget you Mom. Until we meet again.
A private graveside service will be held for the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of Central Ohio.
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Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio
P.O. Box 430, Newark OH 43058