Sr. Marilyn Charette (1940-2023)

Sister Marilyn Charette, age 82, a Sister of Providence for 58 years, died October 10, 2023 at Providence Holy Cross Trauma Center, Burbank, California.

Sister Marilyn was born on December 28, 1940, in Schenectady, New York to Edmond and Mary (Emerich) Charette, the second of seven children. In 1947, her family moved to Richland, Washington when her father’s job with General Electric was transferred. In Richland, her family lived in a small house facing the beautiful Columbia River, which became their playground: boating, waterskiing, and making forts out of tumbleweeds.

In 1958, Sister Marilyn graduated high school from Columbia High School in Richland, and then attended Holy Names College in Spokane, Washington, to study biology and chemistry to become a medical technologist, graduating in 1962.

The seed of a vocation in religious life was growing in Sister Marilyn since her childhood. As she continued to discern her spirituality, it became clear to her she was called to religious life. She entered the Sisters of Providence community in 1964, receiving Final Vows in 1976.

Sister Marilyn’s ministered for many years in hospitals in Yakima, Everett and Portland as a Medical Technologist, in the admissions office, patient transport, as a volunteer and a chaplain. In 1995, Sister Marilyn and four other Sisters of Providence began a mission in El Salvador to minister in many rural communities. This mission continues to this day. After returning from El Salvador in 1999, Sister Marilyn became a member of the religious community’s formation team, as a novitiate team member and candidate director. She always extensively volunteered in her parish and in areas of need in the community.

Sister Marilyn was grateful for her many opportunities and the enduring support from her religious community. She felt being a Sister of Providence was a way of life, following in the footsteps of Jesus, being a dedicated, loving person with priority for the poor and marginalized.

She is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her sisters, Margaret Koner, Yvonne Plahuta, and Catherine Carbaugh; brothers, Edmond Charette, Dr. Richard Charette, MD, and Paul Charette and many beloved nieces and nephews, and by the Sisters in her community.

To view Sister Marilyn’s obituary and picture and to sign her memory book, please visit the website for Bonney-Watson Funeral Home at www.bonneywatson.com.    

Friends gather on the street corner to pray for Sr. Marilyn after the accident.

The Unexpected Death of Sr. Marilyn

The unexpected death of Sr. Marilyn Charette on Tuesday, October 10 in Burbank, California, was the type of event the congregation has rarely experienced.

Sr. Marilyn was out for her morning walk when she was struck by a motor vehicle at the intersection of West Verdugo Avenue and North Buena Vista Street in Burbank.  She died from her injuries later in the afternoon

Parishioners at St. Finbar, where Sr. Marilyn worshiped and was involved in many ministries, held vigils where the accident occurred.  She deeply touched the life of many people at the parish as witness by the many who attended her funeral mass and reception at the parish.  She was also among the first women to establish the Sisters of Providence’s ministries in El Salvador.

The Sisters of Providence ask for continued prayers for the repose of the soul of Sr. Marilyn, for her family and friends, for the people of St. Finbar and for all those involved.