Charleane Corrigan

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Charleane T. Corrigan died peacefully on Friday, March 16, 2018, in her sleep at the Windemere Nursing Home. She was 104.

Born in Waynesville, N.C., in 1914, she was the daughter of Charles Orr Turbyfill and Eugenia Akers. She spent the early part of her life living with her grandmother, as her mother Eugenia died when she was 4, during the worldwide flu epidemic. She was very close to her younger brother, Charles Jr., who predeceased her.

Her father was an archeologist with the Museum of the American Indian, Hye Foundation, living in New York City when he was not in the field excavating Indian mounds. Her father remarried and moved the family to the Bronx, N.Y., when she was 14. She attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx.

Charleane worked at Price Waterhouse, an accounting firm, with a monthly salary of $100. She also worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office, and then for 17 years at the international humanitarian agency CARE.

She met her husband, Martin Corrigan, in the Bronx, and they married in 1936 when she was 23. They were married almost 60 years; he died 21 years ago.

She enjoyed playing bridge for over 40 years with her many friends. Charleane did beautiful needlepoint pieces, and made the best wet coconut cake.

Charleane’s daughter, Judith Cunniffe, brought her to live on Martha’s Vineyard from Florida 10 years ago, when she took up residence at Windemere. She took great pride in her private room and the flowers on her porch, and loved when she won at bingo. She also loved the outings to Farm Neck, where she enjoyed her favorite, a Reuben sandwich. She enjoyed her time at Windemere, and formed many warm friendships. She always talked about all the staff at Windemere, especially Paula, Diane, Betsy, Mary, Fred, and Dr. Lamb.

Her secret to a long and healthy life? One word. Coffee. She drank at least six cups a day. She loved her coffee.

She is survived by her daughter, Judith of East Chop. Her son-in-law, David, predeceased her. She is also survived by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Susan, Patrick, and Jack Garrett of East Chop, David, Diana, and David Robert and Colin Cunniffe of Youngsville, N.C., John, who predeceased her, Melissa, Eliza, and Charlie Cunniffe of South Salem, N.Y., Kevin Cunniffe of Charlestown, and Casey, Jennifer, Finn, Kiera, and Isla Cunniffe of Norwalk, Conn.

A visitation will be held at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs on Friday, March 23, from 5 to 7 pm. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Augustine’s Church, Franklin Street, Vineyard Haven, on Saturday, March 24, at 10:30 am. According to her wishes, she will be cremated.

Donations in Charleane’s memory may be made to Windemere Recreation Department, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.

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  1. Charlene, ever at peace with life, carried a little bird on her shoulder, reminding her how precious life was. And always at peace if it ended. Charlene treated everyday as a gift and those of us in her life as precious jewels. I’m am a better man because of her!

    Fred Thornbrugh

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