Charlotte Kelly VucinovichJune 5, 1918 ~ March 21, 2017 (age 98)
Charlotte Kelly Vucinovich, 98, of Duluth, MN, died on March 21, 2017 in Duluth, MN
Charlotte Thruston Kelly was born on June 5, 1918 in Minneapolis, MN to Robert Kelly IV and Charlotte Webb Kelly.
Charlotte centered her life around her family, faith and friends. She was surrounded by family at her side when she passed.
At an early age, Charlotte moved to Duluth, where the family settled into a home in the Congdon Park neighborhood. Charlotte was educated in nearby local schools: Congdon Park elementary, East Junior High and Central High School, class of 1935. As a young woman, Charlotte enjoyed the outdoors. She was an active Girl Scout, and as an older scout, served as a summer camp counselor at nearby Camp Fannie Baily Olcott. She loved school, was an excellent student, read voraciously and participated in extra curricular activities.
After high school, Charlotte entered the Duluth State Teachers College (now The University of Minnesota, Duluth, or UMD) where she double majored in English and Physical Education, graduating in 1939. Teaching jobs followed at Gilbert High School, Superior State Teachers College, and in 1943, at Duluth Central High School. Later, she earned her M.Ed. from UMD.
As a 17-year old college freshman, Charlotte met and fell in love with senior John Vucinovich. They were married in 1941 at Holy Rosary church in Duluth.
In 1945, Charlotte resigned from teaching to devote time to raise a family of four children: John Kelly (Denver), Bob (Tomasina) Vucinovich (Minneapolis), Ann (Mark) Biron (Duluth) and Jim Vucinovich (Seattle). As a devoted mother, she immersed herself in family activities, PTA obligations, Cub Scout and Brownie leadership roles. She loved to attend her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events, recitals and birthdays, always there to cheer everyone on.
Charlotte returned to her teaching position at Central High in 1960 as a girls' physical education and health instructor. In 1970, Charlotte transferred to Duluth East High School. Soon after that, she found herself at the vanguard of change, with the passing of federal education amendment "Title IX" in 1972, which allowed high school girls to enter into interscholastic sports competition. She was East’s first girls track and swim coach.
Charlotte had many interests and talents. She was a life-long bridge player with memberships in as many as three bridge groups simultaneously. In her own words, she "loved to move to music," enjoying dance from an early age and into retirement. Outdoors, Charlotte was a golfer, cross country skier, cyclist, and sports spectator, frequently attending her husband's high school football games. She loved to swim, and swam regularly into her late 90's, as well as making regular canoe trips to the B.W.C.A.
Throughout her life, Charlotte embraced her faith and exhibited those values of self-sacrifice, humility and love. She always had a kind word for everyone, encouragement when needed and a genuine interest in people’s lives. We will remember her love of family, charity and fellowship to her friends and unending faith in Christ the Lord.
Living in retirement for the past nine years at St. Ann's Residence in Duluth, she and her husband John celebrated 69 years of marriage before John's death in August, 2011. Charlotte loved her time at St. Ann’s, where she enjoyed a wonderful and loving staff and many treasured friends.
Besides her four children, Charlotte leaves four grandchildren, Kelly, Kristin, Michael and Emily and five great grandchildren, Christopher, Jack, Will, Madalyn and Evelyn, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family especially wants to thanks Dr. Paul Sanford, her primary care doctor, and the devoted and caring hospice team at St. Luke’s who all gave Charlotte dignity and compassion in her final days.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Ann’s Residence Chapel, 330 East 3rd St., Duluth, MN 55805, on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 11am. Visitation precedes the service at 10am.
As parking is limited at St. Ann’s, a shuttle service will be provided from the parking lot located at the Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2nd St., Duluth, MN 55805 to St. Ann’s beginning at 9:30am.
Donations may be made to St. Ann’s Residence. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, Duluth, (218) 727-3555.