Charlotte Benischek-Blake (Shouse) was born on April 28, 1935 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went to be with the Lord on December 31, 2023. She was the cherished daughter of Claud D and Rosell Shouse. Charlotte is preceded in death by her late husband Victor V. Benischek, parents Claud and Rosell Shouse, sister Wanda J. Lente, and son Claud L. McKee.
She is survived by her loving husband Richard Blake, sons R. Dale Lillard (Marilyn), G. Randy McKee (Linda), daughter Vicki L. Parker (George), step-daughter Ellen Benischek, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Charlotte's journey began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but due to her struggle with asthma, her family moved to Albuquerque in 1945. Throughout her life, she demonstrated resilience and grace, navigating the ebb and flow of relationships and life experiences.
Marriages were significant chapters in her life, and though some concluded, each played a role in shaping the woman she became. Charlotte was married to Royce D. Lillard in 1949, George D. McKee in 1954, and Victor V. Benischek in 1972, who preceded her in death. Later in life, she found companionship and love with Richard Blake, marrying him in 2011. In the last two marriages her activities expanded and many friendships blossomed.
She attended Browning Business School, setting the foundation for her diverse career path. Charlotte held various positions throughout her life, including roles at Montgomery Ward, J.C. Penney’s, Beneficial Finance, and Furr’s Supermarket. She worked alongside her father at Exchange Auto Parts, gaining a profound love for cars, and later joined Benischek Manufacturing as an accountant.
Her love for family and friends was evident in her vibrant personality and warm heart. Charlotte and Richard shared a passion for travel, exploring the USA on 22 tours with their old car club, creating lasting memories with old and new friends alike. Internationally they traveled to Israel with the Hoffmantown church group and to China and Norway with close friends from Cerrillos, NM.
Charlotte was a dedicated member of the Daughters of the Nile for 49 years, actively supporting the Shriners Hospitals for children. For many years she was team captain of the Marching Patrol. Her love for cars persisted, rooted in her early days at Exchange Auto Parts, and she remained an avid member of the automotive community.
Christianity played a central role in her life, with her church community and faith serving as vital pillars of support and connection. Charlotte was a member of Hoffmantown Church where she was devoted to Gayle Cilvic's Bible study group for many years until her marriage to Richard Blake, after which she joined Cerrillos Community Church, where she touched the lives of everyone she met.
Charlotte's legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her. We find solace in the knowledge that she has gone to be with the Lord, certain in the knowledge that her place in Heaven is secure through her faith.
The family expresses gratitude to Hospice for their compassionate care and extends special thanks to nurse Elena and aide Yuri, also to Mary and Geraldine, graduates of CNM, for their loving support.
A memorial service will be held at Ballut Abyad's New Mexico Shrine Center, 6600 Zuni Rd. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108, on February 1, 2024, beginning at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Charlotte's name to the Daughters of the Nile Foundation, Yucca Temple No 74 at the Zuni Rd address. The Nile Foundation exists to support the children's hospitals.