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 her daughter, Brenda Courtney, of Highland.
Born in Hammond, Alderden 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,” Courtney said. “It wasn’t fancy stuff, but home cooked meat and potato meals. Whatever she made, none of us could ever make it exactly the way she did. It may not have been the healthiest food, but it was good.”
She said her mom’s pretzel Jell-O and her sweet potatoes were family favorites.
“We were always welcome at her house and she was an all around sweet lady,” Courtney said. Her house was lined with some of her collectibles, which ranged from Beanie Babies to plates.
Heather Alderden, of Arizona, said 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, whether she felt good or not.
“She helped if there were dinners at the church and liked to help in the kitchen,” Courtney said. “She was kind of always that silent person in the background. She never wanted to take any glory in anything, but she always liked to help out at church.”
Courtney said that 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 fifteen great grandchildren, with a sixteenth due this fall.