July 8, 1933-Jan. 30, 2021
Menlo Park, California
Our beloved Charlene passed away on January 30, 2021, at home comforted by family. She leaves behind her daughters Nora, Jane Paolucci (Andrew), four sons: Philip (Linda), Matthew (Michelle), James, Tom (Catherine), 15 grandchildren: Heather (Dan), Peter (Anna), Thomas, Andrew (Patricia), Margaret, Katherine, Elizabeth, Madeline, Grace, Sofia, Laura Anne, William, Jack, George, Philip, one great-granddaughter: Juniper, and many nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends.
She was preceded in death by a fifth son, Peter, her husband, George, parents Joseph and Carrie Bianchi, brother Frank Bianchi, and sisters Elvera Pagani, Florence May, and Emma Malan.
Charlene was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. After graduating from Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois, she moved to San Francisco and shortly thereafter met George. The two were married at St. Vincent de Paul Church on December 1, 1956, and subsequently moved to the mid-peninsula to raise their family.
The focus of Charlene’s life was family, education, and her deep Catholic faith. She was a model mom and grandmother, singularly vested in the happiness and wellbeing of those around her, grateful for each minute spent with loved ones, yet resistant to accepting any credit for the incredible family legacy she leaves behind.
Charlene’s dedication to family ran deep and her love, kindness, gratitude, and affection extended to relatives across the U.S. She was especially close to her nephew, Tom White of San Jose. Just five years her junior and closer in age than her siblings, he was like a brother to her.
She was an avid reader who also loved to watch old movies, cheer local sports teams, play games, and rapidly solve the daily crossword puzzle. She shared her appreciation of art and music with her children and grandchildren through regular visits to museums, the symphony, and the ballet, never one to miss the annual Nutcracker to celebrate the holidays. Outside of the home, she enjoyed her time as a Certified Medical Assistant at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, always focused on the health and wellness of children.
The family wishes to thank her physical caregivers, Dr. Ami Laws, Tilisa Vaka, and Meliame Westall, and her spiritual supporters, Msgr. Otellini and Deacon Andrews of Church of the Nativity for their gentle care of her body and spirit during her final days.
Her selfless caring as a mother, grandmother, relative, friend, and devout Catholic will live on in those she touched. Her Funeral Mass will be held outdoors at 11:00 AM on Monday, February 8, at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park followed by a private interment. The Funeral Mass will also be live-streamed on the Church of the Nativity - Menlo Park Youtube channel.