At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Charlotte Weiss would agree she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was a lifelong resident of the community she loved, and over the years she touched the lives of so many in such a special way. A more devoted wife and mother would be hard to find, but Char just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother. Selfless and generous, she took every opportunity to help others however she could in ways both great and small. Life will never be the same without Char here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of America were focused overseas as WWII raged on. The fight for our freedoms landed on our doorstep with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. During this time, while the warmth of the summer began to blanket the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Louis and Fern (Smith) Berner eagerly awaited the birth of their new baby. Their wait finally came to an end on June 11, 1945. While Louis was overseas proudly serving in the U.S. Navy on the USS Dewey, the baby girl they named Charlotte drew her first breath. She was raised alongside her older brother, Louie, and younger brother, Dan. Growing up, Char became very close to her grandmother Edna. Edna became her mentor and taught her many life skills that she carried with her for the rest of her life.
Growing up in Kalamazoo, Char was a typical young girl of her generation. Although her parents learned to be thrifty during the days of the Great Depression and rationing through WWII, their needs were always met. They were able to take trips as a family, and Char especially enjoyed going to Boyne City on Lake Charlevoix. This was a tradition she and Phil continued when they started their family. Char attended local schools including Kalamazoo Central High School, graduating in 1963. While in high school, she played the flute in the marching band, participated in the band follies and chorus line, and also played with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. After graduating, she attended Western Michigan University where she majored in music, focusing on flute and piano. Music remained an important part of her life. During the early years of her marriage, she gave several neighborhood kids piano lessons. We would often hear the piano being played in the living room during the holidays, and soon everyone was gathered around while she played Christmas music.
New and exciting changes were in store for Char when she met the young man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Phillip Weiss, and they met on a blind date while he was home from MSU on Spring Break. Phil picked her up from the dorms at WMU to go to a party hosted by his friend, Butch. Char wasn’t impressed with Phil’s tight white Levi’s and, needless to say, according to Char, the date didn’t go quite as planned. Phil called the next day to apologize about the previous night, and persuaded Char to go on a second date. Then he went back to MSU and told his roommate he’d met the girl he was going to marry. That second date sealed the deal, and they were married on May 7, 1966.
In all her life, there was never anything of greater importance to Char than her family. Together she and her husband welcomed three daughters: Kimberly, Marcia, and Heidi. Char treasured her role as a mother. She was always there to support her daughters in everything they did, whether it was softball games, gymnastics, or one of the many school activities the girls were involved in. Char was filled with tremendous joy when she became a grandmother. When her girls started their families, she was excited to be there for all the activities that her grandchildren participated in. She treasured every moment she spent with them and created a special bond with each one.
There were many things that kept Char busy over the years. Traveling up north to Boyne City, boating on Lake Charlevoix, taking drives to see the fall colors, playing Bridge with the ladies (she and her partner hardly ever won by the way), and spending time with her family were some of Char’s favorite memories. Although she was primarily a homemaker, she did work at Gilmore’s Department Store for a few years before starting a career with Kalamazoo Public Schools as a secretary.
In 2016, Phil and Char celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a special family dinner. The life lessons that her daughters and those around her learned from witnessing the strong relationship that Phil and Char had, will forever be cherished. They built their relationship on love, trust, and communication, but most of all humor.
Determined, loving, and generous beyond measure, Char touched the lives of those around her. She was the sort of person who was a stranger to none and a friend to all. Char lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Charlotte Weiss of Richland, age 76, died on November 13, 2021. Char was born on June 11, 1945, to Louis and Fern (Smith) Berner. Char was predeceased by her daughter, Heidi Weiss; brother, Louis Berner; and sister-in-law, Agne Berner. Surviving are her husband, Phillip; daughters: Kimberly Weiss and Marcia (Scott) Poole; grandchildren: Lauren (Maxwell) Donovan, Nolan (Genna) Padley, Andrew Poole, and Justin Poole; great-granddaughter, Calliope; brother, Daniel (Sue) Berner; and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. A private gathering will be held at a later date. Please visit Char’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial donations may be directed to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or Gryphon Place. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, (269) 375-2900.