Charlotte Craven

Obituary of Charlotte D. Craven

Charlotte D. Craven, 86, a long time resident of Poughkeepsie died Friday July 6, 2018 at the Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburg, New York near her youngest daughter’s family.

Charlotte was born in Chicago Illinois on February 23, 1932. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Margaret (Novotny) Lynch and widow of John P. Craven who died on January 30, 1989.

 Charlotte graduated from Gage Park High School (Chicago) in 1950 and in 1956 she married John Patrick Craven at​ ​St.​ ​Gall​ ​Catholic​ ​Church (Chicago).  Later that year John's career with IBM relocated them​ ​to​ Woodstock ​NY in ​the​ ​Hudson​ ​Valley. They​ later ​settled​ ​in​ ​Poughkeepsie​ ​in 1961.​ ​ While raising their ever expanding family, Charlotte embarked upon a lifetime of service to her community and country.

Charlotte was a member of the American Legion Arlington Post 1302 and starting in Woodstock New York was active in the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) for over fifty years.  On the National level she had served on the Constitution & By-Laws Committee, Eastern Division Children & Youth Committee, Membership Committee, Restructuring Committee, Eastern Division Veteran’s Affairs & Rehabilitation, Eastern Division Public Relations and on the Legislative Council.  She held leadership roles as Vice Chairman of Leadership, Vice Chairman of National Security and President of the New York State American Legion Press Association.  She was a Chapeau of the Dutchess Salon #23 of the 40&8 Society.  She received the Eastern Division Outstanding Leadership Award, Eastern Division Veteran’s Affairs & Rehabilitation Award, National President’s Children & Youth Award and Eastern Division Children & Youth Award.  She created the Youth Hero Award and the National Security bumper sticker.

An avid traveler, her ALA service provided her with the opportunity and obligation to travel extensively throughout the state and country. In 2006 as Eastern Division National Vice President she officially visited the twelve states in her division and attended meetings in Salt Lake City, Indianapolis and St. Louis (MO).  Her travels involved meeting Governors, Presidents and she enjoyed relating that she once had tea with Nancy Reagan at the White House.

On the local and Department (state of New York) level Charlotte served three years as Department Vice, then President in 1984-85. She raised money for Alzheimer’s research and publication of a booklet for seniors and took great pride in being an early advocate of Alzheimers awareness.  Further she served as Chaplain, Historian and Leadership Chairman and on more committees: Constitution & By-Laws, Finance, Children & Youth, Membership, Public Relations, Veteran's Affairs and Rehabilitation, Girls State, chaired the National President’s dinner twice and was member of the Past Presidents Parley.

At local and national levels within the ALA, she persistently promoted the return or recognition of Vietnam POW/MIA’s and provided support to veterans who had returned. She protested the lack of effort by the Ford Administration in front of the White House.

She volunteered at the Castle Point Veterans Administration Medical Center for some fifty years received their Leadership Award and the J. C. Penny Golden Rule Award for this work. She was also a member of the Visitor's Board of the N.Y. Veteran’s Home at Montrose for decades.

Active in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Poughkeepsie, Charlotte served as a Parish Council member, Eucharistic minister and member of the Women’s Society. She raised her children with her Catholic morals and depression era stoicism.

Later in life, she was an active member of the Poughkeepsie Elks BPOE #275 and what became a dear cohort of friends.   The Elks’ as fraternal organization became the center of her life.  She was a past Chaplain and looked forward to the monthly emailed bulletins which her children would read to her during visits.

Charlotte was Dutchess County Senior Citizen of the year in 1995.

She enthusiastically supported merchants (more simply, she was a good shopper) whether her travels took her abroad or on a local trip to the Poughkeepsie Galleria.  She was a gift, card and thank-you sender.  And in turn all the cards and flowers she received were great morale boosters and a constant source of pride of her friendships.  One could choose a card on the wall and she could talk all about the sender, their service and friendship.

Charlotte is survived by her children Michael Patrick (Susan) Craven of Atlanta GA, Timothy Brian Craven of Rosendale NY, Kathleen Ann Tompkins of Atlanta GA, Matthew Paul Craven of Atlanta GA, and Kara Lynn (Kent Becker) of Chazy NY. Charlotte is also survived by her eight Grandchildren, three Great-grandchildren and her sister Patricia Sussman of Florida.

The family greatly appreciates the attention (and patience!) of the staff at Meadowbrook Healthcare who kept a friendly family and even pet-friendly atmosphere while managing all the modern challenges of their profession.  They endured her criticism and knew her deep appreciation was sincere.

The recognition she obtained through many awards and because of long busy hours of service were appreciated, but most importantly it was the many friendships and the impact of service itself that provided the drive and reward for her work.

In lieu of flowers Charlotte had requested that everyone please consider volunteering for a civic, health or Veterans organization that has impacted your life.  A quote from her is: "If you are not involved in any volunteer work you are missing a terrific part of life."  Another quote is: "Many of the thanks bring tears to your eyes."  She spent much time and effort recruiting more people for volunteer work and positions.

Calling hours will be held Friday July 13, 2018 from 4pm to 8pm at the Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home 371 Hooker Ave. Poughkeepsie, New York 12603. There will be services by the American Legion at 645pm and the Elks at 7pm. A Mass of Christian burial will be held 10am Saturday July 14, 2018 at Holy Trinity Church 775 Main Street Poughkeepsie, New York 12603. Following the service Charlotte will be laid to rest at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Poughkeepsie New York next to her husband.  There will be a reception at the Elks' Lodge afterwards.

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