Charlotte Ann (Zindler) Holton Obituary

Charlotte Ann (Zindler) Holton, aged 87, passed from death to eternal life at 2:00 a.m., May 1, 2021, at Spectrum Health Lakeland, St. Joseph. She was born September 15, 1933 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, to George and Helen (Tagney) Zindler. She married her high-school sweetheart Arthur Richard “Rich” Holton on June 25, 1954. She resided, at the time of her death, in Benton Harbor, MI.

Along with her husband Rich, Charlotte was a life-long activist for social justice. They contributed their energies during the early 1960s to The Subway, a coalition between racial justice activists and St. John’s Catholic Church, and later participated in Cass County Jail Ministry, Youth Religious Education, The Third Order of the Franciscans, Small Christian Communities, and Michigan Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (MICURE). As recently as 2014, Charlotte participated in a Black Lives Matter event, reuniting with advocates that she knew many years before from The Subway coalition. In addition, Charlotte was a strong advocate for the unborn and the homeless.

A devout and life-time Catholic, Charlotte completed the Ministry Formation Program of the Diocese of Kalamazoo and served as the Coordinator for Adult Religious Education Committee at St. John the Baptist Parish in Joliet, IL from 1980-1982. Charlotte was most recently a member of St. Bernard’s parish (Benton Harbor, MI).

Charlotte graduated from St. John’s Catholic High School and Benton Harbor Junior College,

now known as Lake Michigan College. Charlotte’s early career included positions as a reporter for the St. Joseph Herald Press (now the Herald Palladium) and as a General Correspondent for Heath/Zenith, Inc. After raising her children, Charlotte founded The Page Makers (later PM Studios), a graphic design services company in St. Joseph. Along with her husband Rich, she also owned and operated Community Insurance Services in Benton Harbor.

She was strongly dedicated to her family and worked tirelessly throughout her life to counsel, encourage and nurture them, whether by words of wisdom or with her unmatched lemon meringue or rhubarb pies. Her animal friends were also included in her circle of devotion, especially her much-loved dog, Gadget. She loved deeply and was deeply loved.

Charlotte is survived by her children, Christine (Charles) Buchanan of Chesapeake, VA., Jeannette (Robert Ziebart) Holton of Benton Harbor, Theresa “Terri” Clark of Elkhart, IN., Linda (Ralph) DeSutter of Benton Harbor, Richard (Janice) Holton of Rockford, IL., Steve (Anita) Holton of Holly Springs, NC., and Michael Holton of Benton Harbor; 11 grandchildren; two great grandchildren and brother, George Zindler. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Helen Zindler; husband of 52 years, Arthur Richard “Rich” Holton; and her beloved dog, Gadget.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Friday, May 7, 2021, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor, MI. Visitation will be one hour prior from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, also at the church. Private burial will take place in North Shore Memory Gardens. Memorial donations may be made to MiCURE, P.O. Box 2736, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-2736. Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel, St. Joseph. 

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