Charlene Bess Orth (DeForest), 84, of Sun Lakes, Arizona passed away at her home Thursday, July 12, 2012. Charlene was born in North Platte, Nebraska on April 14, 1928 to Bess Edwina (Gross) and Charles Woods Deforest. She was welcomed by four siblings, Truman and Elaine, both deceased, and Jeanne Smith of Oceanside, California and Virginia Zaiss of Sun Lakes. Charlene married Dale H. Orth March 2, 1947 in Kearney, Nebraska. Dale preceded her in death in April of 2005. They moved to the Phoenix area in 1949. Charlene is survived by three loving children: Susan Orth (Sun Lakes), Sandra Splawn (Tempe) and Stacy Orth (Phoenix).
She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Angela Poliquin, Wendy Roberts, Jay Splawn, James Splawn, Christen Dockery, Samantha Orth, Ryan Orth; and nine great grandchildren: Caleb Poliquin, Rebecca Poliquin, Richard Poliquin, Maia Roberts, Sage Roberts, Landon Splawn, Connor Splawn, Mason Dockery, Landon Dockery. She is also survived by her beloved cat Tabby and gentleman canine, Lexie.
Charlene was a progressive educator in the Washington School District at a time when women were rare among the administration and student learning gained a new importance. She retired from her position as principal of Sunburst and Manzanita Schools in 1986 after dedicating her career to improving instruction for children and their teachers. She and Dale moved to Sun Lakes in the mid 1980's to live out their lives enjoying golf, bridge, traveling and many friendships. Charlene enjoyed cooking and entertaining, hosting many gatherings for friends and family. Charlene was a loving and compassionate matriarch to the family that she adored. In Emerson's words, which hung on her wall: Char has laughed often and much. She has won the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. Though the world will not be the same without her, she left it a better place. A memorial service will be held at Sun Lakes Chapel, 9240 E Sun Lakes Blvd on Friday July 20, 2012 at