Charlene Ann (Bennett) York, a warm and friendly woman that started your day with a friendly smile and a hot cup of coffee from Center Dunk’s, passed away at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading on Tuesday evening, March 5, 2019. The beloved wife of Raymond A York, she was 69 years old.
Charlene was born, raised and educated in Arlington. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Mary Bennett. After High School she attended Beauty Gardens Cosmetology school in Cambridge. Charlene married her husband Raymond on August 19, 1973 at the age of 24. Charlene and Raymond would move to Burlington in 1979 where they would raise their three children.
Charlene worked at Dunkin Donuts on Cambridge Street for 19 years. She started work each morning at 3 a.m. getting everything ready for the morning commuters. She remembered everyone’s names, their coffee order and always looked forward to hearing about their jobs and their lives. Charlene didn’t just love her job but she loved her Dunkin Donut Family!
Charlene was very involved in her children’s lives. She was their largest supporter. She would drop everything and do anything for her three children. Sunday morning breakfasts with her brothers and sister were a tradition. During the summers the family enjoyed spending Sunday’s together and taking small trips to the Cape and North Conway. Charlene’s greatest joy was becoming a “Grammy” to her grandchildren Kayleigh, Gavin, Mackenzie, Sophia, Makayla, and 3 month old Christopher. She never missed their dance recitals, cheerleading events, hockey games, gymnastics meets or watching them model, you name it and Charlene would be there cheering them all on. Charlene had a caring nurturing nature and was always looking out for others.
Charlene leaves her family with cherished memories that will remain in their hearts and minds forever and can never be forgotten. Charlene was the beloved wife of Raymond A. York. She was the loving mother of Jennifer York of Burlington, Christopher York & his wife Jessica of Pepperell and Nicole Sweeney of Londonderry, NH. Cherished grandmother of Kayleigh Rae & Gavin Sweeney, Sophia Grace Grover, MacKenzie, Makayla & Christopher York. Sister of Chuck Bennett of Arlington, David Bennett & his wife Diane of Stoneham and Corinne Mossali & her husband Chuck of Stoneham. Charlene is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends. Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128/95 Woburn side) on Friday, March 8 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the Funeral Home on Saturday, March 9 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Burial to follow in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. The family asks that you consider wearing something “purple” in honor of Charlene to her services. In lieu of flowers memorials in Charlene’s name may be made to Middlesex-East Visiting Nurse Hospice, Gift Processing Center, 41 Mall Road, Burlington MA 01803
Family Remembrnace by Chuck Bennett
REMEMBERING CHARLENE (October 6, 1949 – March 5, 2019)
March 9, 2019
Good morning. My name is Chuck Bennett. I am Charlene’s brother. On behalf of Charlene’s husband of 45 years, Ray, her children, Jennifer, Christopher and Nicole, grandchildren Kayleigh, Gavin, Mackenzie, Sophia, Makayla and Christopher, my brother David and my sister Corinne, I would like to share some memories of my sister.
Charlene was the oldest child of Buddy and Mary Bennett. She grew up in Arlington and we had a very happy childhood. We did not have many material things growing up because my father was in his own business but that didn’t matter because we had a strong family bond and two great role models in our mother and father. We used to joke that when we went out to eat at Simeone’s Restaurant in Woburn, our parents would order two spaghetti dinners with six plates. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, material possessions were not as important as today. What mattered most was that we were together as a family.
Charlene decided early on to become a hairdresser and worked for many years at Beauty Gardens in Cambridge. For over 40 years, she also cut my hair. She married Ray in 1973 and after a few years in Arlington, they moved to Burlington to raise their three children.
There are so many fond memories of Charlene. She was always concerned with caring for others. She took care of friends who were ill or who needed someone to talk with including our Mom and Dad. Over 25 years ago, a friend told Charlene that a family needed help because the mother of two young sons was seriously ill. As has always been the case, Charlene was eager to help and started to work for Kevin and Susan McGuire and their sons Mark and Michael. Charlene spent many hours each week with Susan when she needed someone special in her life. Charlene was always that special person. We would sometimes hear from Charlene but more often from others about the many times she coordinated birthday parties and holiday celebrations for Kevin and the boys after Susan passed. She continued to work for Kevin even after the boys went to College. Charlene made life-long friendships with many people.
She loved to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She was so proud to be a grandmother and looked forward to attending all of the dance recitals for Kayleigh, Mackenzie, Sophia, and Makayla, gymnastics shows and cheering competitions for Mackenzie and Kayleigh and hockey games for Gavin. As the McGuire family needed less of her time, she started a new chapter in her life. She began to work full time at Dunkin Donuts in Burlington and it was a great part of her life. She became a fixture at the drive-thru window at 3:45 – 4:00 A.M. and she never missed work.
Many of her customers also became her friends. Whenever Ray, Charlene and other family members went to dinner, it was inevitable that Charlene would meet someone she knew from Burlington. Ray always commented that he could not go anywhere without someone knowing Charlene.
I had dinner with Charlene and Ray last Friday night and she was as positive as ever. She was making lists of cards and well wishes from family and friends and recounting all of the food that people had brought to her home. She also made numerous phone calls that day and even though she had received devastating news about her illness on Monday, she told everyone that she would be seeking treatment and that she wanted to go back to Dunkin Donuts at least 2 days a week. Her strength amazed me.
After she was admitted to Lahey Clinic on Saturday, Charlene was constantly surrounded by family and close friends. The support for Ray, Jennifer, Christopher and Nicole was overwhelming. Two of her lifelong friends, Annette Steinberg and Bernice Caruso visited Charlene every day spending hours of time with her. This support for Charlene continued on Tuesday afternoon at Sawtelle House in Reading. She was surrounded by her family and her best friends, Annette and Bernice when God mercifully relieved her suffering in the evening. It was peaceful and very moving.
In closing, I would like to sum up the impact that Charlene’s life has had on all of us by quoting Albert Pike who said:
“What we have done for ourselves alone, dies with us. What we have done for
others and the world remains and is immortal.”
For all the good that Charlene did for others, she will live on in all of us.
May you rest in peace, Charlene.