Charlavan is gone. She now inhabits that space reserved for happy thoughts and wry smiles. She was the reason superlatives were invented. Regular words just didn’t do her justice. She was the most loving and fiercely loyal mother, sister and friend. Her life was filled with travel, fashion, poker, family, writing, friends, cooking, art and copious amounts of love. From the stage of the Miss America pageant to high-stakes poker tournaments, she was graceful and poised and as always, funny and kind. She counted strangers as friends and friends as family. The world is a better place for her light and love.
She was lucky enough to be born in Perkins, Oklahoma to HL and Rosa Lynn Baker. She often said it was such a wonderful place to have started out. That love and kindness she took with her everywhere she went. She was a Valedictorian and cheerleader and with one older sister, Carol, one younger brother, Jack and one younger sister, Linda. She moved to Oklahoma City after high school and went to work as a secretary and model. Through modeling she entered beauty pageants and represented Oklahoma in the Miss America Pageant. She married RJ Hart, a pilot, and they settled in Los Angeles, CA. She continued modeling and began painting while mothering the daylights out of her three children. After a move to Euless, TX, the family grew and Charlavan found success as the owner and operator of her own Art Gallery and Interior Design studio. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, she turned her many talents to writing, authoring 2 books on her patented system of color analysis in addition to a cookbook of recipes her friends and family adored. After retirement she and RJ moved to San Diego where she made more friends, played poker, painted, wrote and spent many hours eating hamburgers in cars. She loved some car burgers. She was ALWAYS ready to join in. “Hey Mom, do you want to go to Vegas?” “Give me 5 minutes” she would say. “Do you want to split a burger?” “Yes! I just ate but I’ll join you!” No just wasn’t a part of her vocabulary. In recent years she lived close to children and grandchildren and enjoyed the company of her best friend and caregiver, Dean. With his help, she lived life to the fullest despite a body that made that increasingly more difficult. Her latest holidays were filled with family, love, happiness and joy. On January 23, 2020 she went to sleep and is no longer in pain.
And so, Charlavan is gone. All those billions of molecules that so kindly agreed to be her for several years are now at liberty to go do something else. The remembrance of her smile brings a smile to all of us who were lucky enough to be a part of her world. We will love you forever, Mama.
Charlavan is survived by her sister, Linda, her husband, RJ, her children Mark, Bret and Mylissa, her grandchildren Amber, Jack and Alex and great grandchildren Cade and Connor. Her ashes will be scattered at sea in La Jolla, CA. We will be holding a Celebration of Life ceremony on April 18, 2020 at Mylissa and Craig’s house in San Diego.
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