Charlotte Alderden, of Lansing, was someone you could always count on, according to her family.
“My mom was very giving. It didn’t matter who you were or if she knew you, she was always giving. Everyone would say the giving part is what they would remember about her,” said daughter Brenda Courtney, of Highland.
Born in Hammond, Charlotte Alderen married William Alderden in 1956 and raised her family in Lansing, where she had been active in the PTA.
“When she first got married, she couldn’t boil water, but she got to be a good cook over the years,” said Courtney. “It wasn’t fancy stuff, but homecooked meat and potato meals.”
She said her mom’s pretzel Jell-O and her sweet potatoes were family favorites.
Her house was filled with some of her collectibles, which ranged from McDonald’s Happy Meal toys to plates. Beanie babies filled an entire wall in one of her rooms. She also loved doing puzzles, her daughter said.
Heather Alderden, of Arizona, said that whenever her mother-in-law was asked if she was busy, she always replied with a "no" and asked what she could do for them. If asked what she was doing tomorrow, she’d always say "nothing," said Alderden. “And "nothing" was never true.
A member of First Reformed Church in Lansing, her daughter said she was always at church.
Courtney added her mother wasn’t one to complain.
“She thought it wouldn’t make anything better, so you just go on. That’s how she was. I learned from her that even when you’re down and out and hurting, you put a smile on your face and life goes on and you make the best of it when life gives you lemons.”
Alderden is survived by her husband, William, four children, seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, with a 16th due this fall.