On June 22, VAA received the news that Charlotte Burden had passed away. Before retiring in December 2018, she served as the association’s Executive Secretary for more than 30 years. While many people may have never physically met Charlotte, they knew her soft, slow, welcoming southern voice on the other end of the telephone line.
Ms. Charlotte (as she was affectionately known in the office) was the keeper of VAA history. There was nothing you needed that she couldn’t find and no member question that she couldn’t answer. She was a calm, stable presence in what was often a demanding and chaotic atmosphere. “I remember the first day I came to work for VAA.” said Caroline Fahed, “Charlotte was right there to welcome me and show me the ropes. She used humor and kindness to make sure I knew the intricacies of VAA.” Charlotte saw staff come and go, and she always treated everyone with the same respect, generosity, and consideration.
Charlotte was kind, dependable and would bend over backward to help you no matter how busy she was with her work. She was quiet and did more listening than speaking (unless you were talking politics, then her passion and dedication to her beliefs shined). Charlotte had a thing about germs. If you knew her, you knew she owned stock in Clorox! If the furniture was being moved or any part of the office rearranged, she would make us stop so she could clean – one endearing quirk that made Charlotte the funny person we all knew. If you never met Charlotte, you missed the opportunity to know a unique and caring individual.
During her funeral service, family and friends recalled many stories about Charlotte and her irreplaceable qualities. Charlotte, you will be missed.