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Celebration of Life planned for Charlotte (Irving) Lindsey

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KENT—A Celebration of Life will be held later this year in Kent for Charlotte (Irving) Lindsey, 89, of Kent, who passed away peacefully at her new home on Cape Cod on Dec. 2, 2023. 

A gifted woodcarving artist, skilled drug and alcohol counselor, admired second grade teacher, and revered volunteer extraordinaire, Charlotte was a woman of many talents. She was a cherished mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, sister in-law, and recent widow of her husband of 45 years, Richard “Dick” Lindsey.

A journalism major at Boston University, Charlotte nimbly employed those skills in many capacities throughout the years as a proficient relationship-builder. No matter the locale, many people she met walked away with a new friend.

Several Appalachian Trail hikers likely still remember her generosity of a tasty meal and hot shower at their home on Main Street.

Her second-grade students from 60-plus years ago, many of whom she kept in contact with over the years, shared sentiments such as, “she made learning natural and fun,” and stories of how she made them feel valued while infusing the love of learning.

Her counseling colleagues remembered her as compassionate and caring with clients.

One of the things Charlotte was most proud of was her long sobriety and subsequent career as a drug and alcohol counselor after getting sober at the age of 50.

Her message to many in the throes of addiction was that it’s never too late. Right to the end, she modeled not being afraid to start something new.

Not one to shy away from adventure, some of Charlotte’s fondest memories were when she and her beloved husband, Dick, would say, “Yes” to something new like moving to Maine for several years; traveling for months in a borrowed popup camper across the Trans-Canada Highway and then winding their way home through the United States; or adopting Luke, Beau and Rosie, her treasured donkeys.

In her late-60s, having survived lung, breast and skin cancer all at once, she wrote a letter that began, “Dear Intrepid Women…” to five fellow cancer survivors—all women from Kent—inviting them to join her for a high ropes course adventure.

With her friends by her side, she courageously wrangled her fear of heights, donned a harness, climbed more than 30 feet into the trees and cables where she proudly and successfully navigated the aerial challenge course.

Despite growing up in Darien, Conn., she considered Kent her hometown, having summered there on her grandfather’s farm in South Kent since she was a toddler and moving to Kent full time after college.

Serving the town in a variety of capacities brought her great pleasure. Some of her service included the Veterans Memorial Committee (and co-authoring a book called, One Small Town in World War II, with Fran Johnson about Kent’s contribution to the war), Kent Garden Club, Kent Historical Society, and the Kent Center School Scholarship Fund (to which she brought the idea for The Chocolate Fest).

Charlotte and Dick were also members of a local Unitarian Fellowship and enjoyed many community activities.

The daughter of the late James E. and Cecile (Cottrell) Irving, Charlotte leaves five children, Polly Goddard (Andy), Melissa Makris, Constance Hedden (Don), Elizabeth Tobin and William R. Tobin, III (Terry); three step-children, James Lindsey, Jennifer Lindsey and Katherine Dunn; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her brother Walter Irving (Pam); sisters in-law Claire Irving (Bill) and Shari Adams (Rob), as well as many nieces and nephews; and her uncle, Griggs Irving. She was predeceased by her brothers William C. and Robert M. Irving, her parents, and her husband, Dick.

In her memory, donations may be sent to the Kent Center School Scholarship Fund, where a scholarship in memory of Charlotte and Dick will soon be created. Donations should be designated in memory of Charlotte and/or Dick Lindsey at https://www.kcssf.org/support.html or mailed to P.O. Box 794, Kent, CT 06757, or Kent Historical Society at https://kenthistoricalsociety.org/memberships/become-member/ (scroll to bottom of membership page) or mailed to P.O. Box 651, Kent, CT 06757.

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