Charlotte Patnaude, age 78 of North Branch, formerly a longtime resident of Detroit, passed away on December 9, 2020. She was born in Detroit on November 8, 1942, to the late Peter and Jean Fredericks.
Charlotte spent the first 74 years of her life living in Detroit. At the age of 15, she started working after school in a local flower shop where she met the shy, lanky boy named Ron who would become her lifelong love. She graduated from Mumford High School in 1961 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education and eventually a master’s degree, both from Wayne State University. She married that shy boy from the flower shop in 1967, and taught third grade in Highland Park for a few years before leaving teaching to raise their two children.
Charlotte and Ron lived in Rosedale Park for 42 years. Charlotte was very involved in her community. Without her own immediate family in the area, she created a chosen family of neighbors and friends. She loved and supported arts and culture as a season ticket holder to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre, and memberships at Greenfield Village and the Detroit Zoo for most of her adult life. In the mid-‘80’s, she became the Director of the OutPost, a community non-profit offering life enrichment classes. She retired from that position after 15 years of service. She and Ron were founding members of the Grandmont Rosedale Community Garden and the Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market, and could be spotted helping out at just about every community event. Charlotte also loved cats, especially ones with long fur. Every cat she and Ron had in their home was rescued, including one from the Farmers’ Market.
In 2017, Ron knew it was time to move closer to their children for support. They relocated, with their cats, to a little house next to their daughter, Ellen and her family’s farm in North Branch. They immediately became part of the large extended family, joined the local senior group, and regularly attended arts and culture events in the area. They also remained closely tied to their friends in Detroit, visiting often for days at a time. Their son, David and his family were regularly on hand to visit and help with various projects. Charlotte was extremely proud of her children and grandchildren. She loved them fiercely, always speaking her mind to them and bragging relentlessly about them to friends. She was especially proud of her grandchildren’s musical and artistic talents.
Charlotte was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in the fall of 2018. Unlike her own mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s, LBD was cruel and fast. In May of 2020, Charlotte moved into The Cottage of Davison, a memory care facility, where she was very well-cared for and loved by the staff. They admired her feisty, fierce spirit, as we all did, which did not diminish, even at the very end. She will be remembered and missed deeply by her family, and by all who knew her.
Charlotte is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ronald Patnaude; son David Patnaude (Lauren Vance); daughter Ellen Patnaude (Danielle Leach); grandchildren Sam Chiuppi, Joe Chiuppi, Chloe Summerfield, Emily Patnaude, and Izzy Patnaude; brother Roger Fredericks (Patricia); brothers-in-law Carl Patnaude and John Patnaude; sister-in-law Dolores Morency; many nieces and nephews; countless dear friends in the Rosedale Park area and her North Branch family and friends.
Charlotte was preceded in death by her aforementioned parents; sisters-in-law Monica Patnaude, Georgia Smith, Roberta Patnaude, Maxine Patnaude and brother-in-law Brian Morency Sr.
Arrangements for cremation have been entrusted to Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Capstick Chapel in Lapeer. A memorial gathering will be planned for Spring of 2021. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Charlotte's memory to one of the organizations mentioned above, or your favorite local arts and culture organization.