Charlotte Ewen was born on September 19, 1921 at the Kincardine Hospital to parents William John and Charlotte (MacKay) Reid. She was the fourth of six children: John (1917), Ellen (1919), Annie (1920), Charlotte, Margaret (1927), and Shirley (1936). The Reid family farmed in Bruce Township, between Tiverton and Glammis, where the kids attended S.S. #3. Charlotte went on to attend Toronto Bible College, Teacher’s College, and a Church College in Illinois. It was here where she worked in an ammunitions factory during World War II. In 1947 Charlotte started her first teaching position at a remote school in the community of Wabigoon in northwestern Ontario. The following year she moved back to southwestern Ontario and New Dundee where she taught grades 1 – 8. I 1949, she had the opportunity of a lifetime and moved to Jamaica to work in a mission school. Charlotte remained here through 1952, before returning to Ontario.
As a teenager, Charlotte met a young man by the name of Gordon Edgar Wilson. Gordon’s cousin was in the same Sunday school as Charlotte and in turn, they attended the same picnic together… and as they say the rest is history. Charlotte and Gordon were married on Thursday, April 7, 1955 at Shiloh United Brethren Church on the 4th of Bruce. The newlyweds quickly settled on the Wilson Homestead on the 14th of Greenock. At this time Charlotte gave up her teaching career, after seven years of service, to begin their family. The following year, 1956, they welcomed John, with June (1957), Marilyn (1958), and Lloyd (1962) soon following. As you can imagine, life was busy for Charlotte during the ensuing years and she taught, cared, and provided for her young family.
When not teaching her own children Charlotte volunteered her time at Sunday school, acting as both the superintendent and teacher through the years. She was also actively involved in the Pinkerton Women’s Institute for many years. However, to be quite honest Charlotte was content with her quiet life on the farm. She enjoyed a large garden yearly, full of produce for her family and some flowers to add colour and beauty. There was also the raspberry patch and who could forget Charlotte’s baking, particularly her bread. Yum, yum! On the farm, she also loved all the animals, especially the dogs and cats. Although most of the animals were outdoor pets, Jiffy, a K-9, became a favourite as he always enjoyed cozying up to Charlotte when relaxing on the verandah.
In her free time, Charlotte absolutely loved to sew, especially quilts. She was very talented, and her generous nature meant she gave away a lot of her creations. Charlotte produced more than one hundred quilts throughout her life with each product of love taking anywhere from six weeks to eight months to perfect. Charlotte also loved to sing. She sang in a choir as well as a quartet formed with her two sisters and a sister-in-law. In her free time, she enjoyed transcribing music into pieces that could be performed by a trio or quartet. Charlotte was also an avid reader and would often read anything she could get her hands on. When it came to television, Charlotte enjoyed watching “Columbo,” “The Price is Right” and anything that was a murder mystery or needed solving. Although Charlotte’s travel history was limited, she was very content and enjoyed day trips exploring Southwestern Ontario. Finally, she also returned to teaching in later years, whereby Charlotte taught adult literacy in her home. As the saying goes, once a teacher, always a teacher!
At the age of eighty-five Gordon finally conceded to retire from the farm and the couple soon called Walkerton home. Although different, Charlotte made the most of each day and enjoyed additional time with family and friends. She also took a liking to crosswords, apparently always having one on the go, and joined a quilting group that got together once a week.
Faith also played an important role in Charlotte’s life. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at Shiloh United Brethren Church. She helped with a variety of missions throughout her life and went onto attend Pinkerton United Church. In recent years, Charlotte and Gordon became members of Immanuel Evangelical Missionary Church (now Paisley Missionary Church) where they enjoyed praying and singing together. Her church family was a true extension of her family, and she would do anything to help someone in need.
In August of 2014, Gordon had a portion of his leg amputated and they then moved into Elgin Abbey in Chesley for more support. Sadly, Gordon died in July of 2016 and Charlotte was alone for the first time in over 60 years. Her faith, family, and strong will allowed her to make the best of each day.
In April of 2017 Charlotte moved to Hanover, and The Village to be closer to her sister, Annie. Here, she lived out her remaining days in relatively good health until a recent hospitalization. Sadly, Charlotte passed away at Hanover & District Hospital on Sunday, August 15, 2021, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
Cherished mother of John (Leah) of Edmonton, June Wilson (Tony Hart) of Ottawa, Marilyn Wilson (Jim Thompson) of Guelph and Lloyd (Linda Challis) of Maple. She will be dearly missed by her grandchildren Stephanie, Scott, Amy, and Russell. Charlotte will be fondly remembered by her sisters Margaret Collins of Caledon, Shirley Woodason of Winnipeg, and sister-in-law Merle Wrightson of Guelph. She was predeceased by her husband Gordon (2016), sisters Ellen Colwell, Annie Campbell, brother John Reid and her parents William and Charlotte (MacKay) Reid.
A public visitation will be held at Paisley Missionary Church (307 Balaklava St.) on Saturday, August 21, 2021 from 11 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:30 a.m. A private interment will follow in Purdy Cemetery, Greenock Township.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the St. John Ambulance (Therapy Dog Program) or Hanover & District Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.