The community at Rising Mountains Assisted Living is comprised of people from all walks of life. Each of our residents comes to us with a special story, and each month, we’ll be highlighting one member of our amazing family. This month’s resident is Charlotte French.
Charlotte was born in Fort Benton, MT. The daughter of an Army officer, Harry, and school teacher, Mary Ann Luce, Charlotte and her family moved to Vancouver, Washington in her early years. She was an accomplished student, in addition to studying music and vocal performance. After high school, Charlotte entered nursing school in Portland and graduated in 1946. She then moved to California, where she met her future husband, Bruce. They married in 1947 and had four children: Glyndon, Stephen, Douglas and Thomas. In the words of her daughter Glyndon, she is a “a mother extraordinaire” who has loved, worshiped and adored her children, raising them to be educated and successful human beings.
After her children were older, Charlotte returned to college and completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at San Diego State University. After graduating with the highest academic honor, the Quetzalcoatl, she began teaching first grade. On her 50th birthday, she returned to school and obtained her Ph.D in Educational Administration and became a professor at San Diego State University.
After retirement, Charlotte and Bruce traveled around the country in a motor home, seeking the perfect spot to spend their retirement. They fell in love with Bigfork, Montana.
After moving to Bigfork, Charlotte and Bruce were both incredibly active in the community. Accomplishments include cleaning up the Swan River Trail, writing a book about the trail called ‘The River Road Trail Guide’, becoming an enthusiastic member of the Red Hat Society (now called the Mad Hatters) and writing a grant to preserve the Community Hall. Additionally, Charlotte served on the Community Hall Board of Directors, petitioning for a new stoplight to be added at the intersection of 35 and 83 highways, establishing the Rose Scott Study team, coordinating the summer concerts at Sliter Park, and making food for the soup table at the Tamarack Festival. She has been honored on the River Walk with a permanent restroom for hikers called “Charlotte’s Rest.”
Bruce passed away in 2007, but Charlotte continued her active, community-focused life. Even after moving to Rising Mountains, she continues her community work and is considered Rising Mountains’ and Bigfork’s most enthusiastic promoter and cheerleader.
At Rising Mountains Assisted Living, we strive to engage our residents in activities that bring them joy. Charlotte French brings such joy to our senior residents and staff and we are so grateful that she calls Rising Mountains Assisted Living home.
We love you, Charlotte!