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Maurine B. Charles
In Loving Memory
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Born:January 26, 1910
Crowley, Louisiana
Died:August 6, 2005
Lake Oswego, Oregon

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Maurine Leah Belton was born in Crowley, Louisiana and was the second oldest of seven children to parents Maurice and Leah Belton. Maurine led an adventurous life and was ahead of her time, often blazing a path where women did not often tread. With less than a high school education, Maurine worked as a buyer for Neimann Marcus; held government jobs as a flight tower controller in the western deserts of Arizona and New Mexico in the 1940's; held administrative positions in classified projects at White Sands Missle Range and Holloman Airforce Base in the 1950's; hotel and apartment management in the 1960's; and completed her professional career working for the Indian Health Service in Phoenix.
Maurine preferred to keep her personal life rather private, so there is a gap of information between 1930 and 1950. Maurine was married briefly to Irwin Charles in 1950-51, and had a son, Jack Maurice, born November 27, 1951. The nick name "Jackie" prompted him to change his name to "John" in 1956. Maurine was a very loving mother and rasied her son alone, which was quite the challenge in the 1950's and 1960's. Maurine made friends every where she went and was inspirational to many people. She will be remembered and cherished for being a free spirit, always on the go, never letting the grass grow too long beneath her feet. Maurine wished to be cremated; her ashes have been buried on a beautiful beach on the Big Island of Hawaii, next to sea turtle nests and forever crashing waves lapping nearby.

Maurine is survived by her son, John Charles; grand daughters Kendra Magee and Erin Barlow; great grandson Preston Barlow; and great grandson baby Magee on the way, due March 2, 2006.


(front) Martha Jane (back) Catherine, Elizabeth, Maurine
Added by John Charles

circa 1935-1945
Added by John Charles

circa 1940
Added by John Charles

Maurine with Panda (circa 1940)
Added by John Charles

Maurine's Favorite Photo of Herself (circa 1942)
Added by John Charles

Maurine with "Jackie" 1952, Oakland California
Added by John Charles

Memorabilia (audio, video, files, documents, etc.)



Personal Notes

I met Maurine in 1982. She was in our a small discussion group, and everyone loved her zest for life. She taught me many things, especially, to keep on learning new things. She kept alive with always wanting to meet new people and learn about new skills. I was amazed how much she could learn on the computer, which she picked up in 1984.
Added by John Meluso

Many people loved driving her to church so that they could spend time with her. Since I was one of the lucky people to be her driver, I was soon known for Driving Ms. Daisy. Just as Jessica Tandy was portrayed in the movie, Maurine was elegant, always gracious, loving and a committed friend. Being named John, I am sure part of her fondness for me was because of her son John, and the grandchildren, and great grandchildren, that she felt blessed to have.
Added by John Meluso

This is a note I received from Uncle Ed Belton, Maurine's brother. It is very charming and a little telling about both of them:
"Thanks for the sad news about Maurine, I'm glad you could be with her. You mentioned that she was very curious. She once told me that I was the least curious person she knew. I also remember eating an onion sandwich before bedtime with her. Thanks for the email, love Ed.

Added by Kim Bromley

Aunt Maurine was my favorite aunt. My first real memory of her was when I was fifteen at a Belton family reunion in 1972. Maurine was, to me, a maverick, adventureous, and a free spirit. When I moved to California in 1981 she would take me out for Mexican food on Saturday nights. She was my only social life! She celebrated her 95th birthday with her son John, her granddaughters Kendra & Erin, their husbands Matt & T.J., her great-grandson Preston, me, and a margarita. I miss her.
Added by Kim Bromley

On the first Anniversary of my mother's passing, I have many fond memories of her and the love she always had for me. Much has happened in this last year which would make her very happy. Her first great grandson Preston has turned two years old, Kendra gave birth to Jacob, and now Harumi and I are expecting a baby in March 2007. Maurine's love for children was one of her greatest gifts to her family. You are missed and loved. Love always, your son John
Added by John Charles
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