Charlotte May Larue, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2024, at the age of 95 at the Gardens at St. Elizabeth in Denver, Colorado. She was born on October 22, 1928, in Great Falls, Montana, to Charles Sirola and Anna B. Cassun, and grew up in a Croatian/Italian community in the shadow of the Anaconda Copper Refinery in Black Eagle where her father worked. Charlotte was a warm, loving, and positive individual who touched the lives of those around her with her kind and caring nature.
Charlotte had an exceptional talent for music and was known for her beautiful singing voice. She was an accomplished pianist, organist and song leader, sharing her musical gifts with her community, especially through her dedication and service to St. Jude and Christ on the Mountain Catholic Churches in Lakewood, Colorado. Her choir even travelled to the Vatican and sang for Pope John Paul II. She, along with her husband Maurice, loved attending and supporting the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Opera and various Denver area theaters producing both drama and musical venues.
Charlotte attended high school in Great Falls, Montana, where she majored in Business and English. She continued her studies at the College of Great Falls; she graduated summa cum laude and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology with perfect straight As during her entire 4 years of study. She was a member of the Kappa Pi Lambda honor society, and was listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities” from 1948-50. She was then awarded full scholarship and an assistantship in the department of psychology at Fordham University in New York, where she began work towards a master’s degree in Psychology. These studies were interrupted after she met and married the love of her life, Maurice, who was working towards his doctorate in engineering, also at Fordham. They then embarked on travels across the USA due to his job commitments in the aerospace industry; almost all of their 5 children were born in different cities during these years.
In her professional life, Charlotte held important positions as an Executive Secretary to the Executive Director of the Colorado Neurological Institute, and as a Secretary to the Senior Vice President of Patient Services at the Swedish Medical Center, both in Englewood, Colorado. Her exceptional typing speed of 75+ words per minute and shorthand notation of 80-100 words per minute were a testament to her impressive skills and proficiency. As her colleagues wrote in her “Employee of the Month” award at Swedish Medical Center, “Charlotte came here with enthusiasm and she continues to exhibit that trait every hour of every working day. She consistently gives her time beyond that required in a day, even though she produces more work during her scheduled time than most could. Charlotte’s position demands efficiency, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, a keen sense of confidentiality and a never-ending energy level. She handles each of these demands with a rating of ‘10’ and maintains her smile and her very pleasant sincerity.”
Charlotte was a dedicated housewife and mother. Like her mother, she found joy in cooking, and she and Maurice were members of a gourmet cooking club. They also played bridge together, often hosting “bridge night” in their home for members of their group. They both were avid world travelers, making countless trips throughout Europe, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. And of course she loved animals, especially her many cats over the years, including Tigger, Mandy, Abby, Gracie and Gus.
Charlotte is survived by her children: sons Stephen (Candace) in Denver, CO, David (Suzanne) in Denver, CO, Michael (Silvia) in La Coruña, Spain; daughters Annette (Rob) Hanson in Boise, ID, Catherine (John) Peng in Seattle, WA; 6 grandchildren: Justin Larue de Vesine, Jennifer Larue (Jeremy) Barrett, Nicholas and Thomas Larue, Mason and Robert Peng; and 2 great-grandchildren: William and Tessa Barrett. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Maurice, with whom she shared 62 beautiful years of marriage, as well as her parents, Charles and Anna, and her sisters, Anna, Florence, and Dorothy.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday, January 17, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Horan & McConaty Mortuary, 3020 Federal Blvd, Denver. A church service will be held on Thursday, January 18 at 1:00 pm at the Gardens at St Elizabeth, 2835 W 32nd Ave, Denver. Interment will be on Friday, January 19 at 11:00 am at the Fort Logan National Cemetery, 3698 S. Sheridan Blvd, Denver, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband Maurice.
Donations may be made in Charlotte’s name to a pet rescue or music charity of your choice.
Charlotte will be remembered for her enthusiastic and optimistic outlook on life, her nurturing spirit, and the love she shared with her family and friends. She leaves behind a legacy of warmth, talent, and elegance that will be cherished by all who were fortunate enough to know her.