Surrounded by her family, Charlotte Mae (Leiva) Villalobos, age 90, crossed over to be with our Heavenly Father on Sept. 18, 2019 at her home in Tehachapi, Calif. She was born March 13, 1930, during a blizzard in a small mountain cabin nestled in the foothills of Tehachapi, Calif. Her father, Theodoro Augustin Leiva, helped deliver her into this world and wrapped her in one of his soft woolen shirts, which was first warmed on their small wood stove.
After living a short time on their family mountain homestead, Charlotte, her father “Doro” and, her mother, Victoria Campas-Leiva, left the little homestead and moved into town. Though born in the depression era, she came from a prosperous and resourceful pioneer family that helped revolutionize the town of Tehachapi. Proud of her Native American and Spanish ancestral lineage, she lived a culturally enriched life, imparting that pride to her family.
Charlotte was married to C.J. “Chuck” Villalobos for 70 wonderful years! Although they married young, their relationship was truly love at first sight. Charlotte and Chuck commented that they were told by naysayers, “you are too young, and it will never last”; they have been inseparable ever since. They were a hardworking team and very active in raising their three children. Together they set their goals and built an empire of successes all while raising their family. As education was an integral part of the family dynamic, Charlotte took great pride in raising what she considered “three successful children,” “all whom were university graduates” and would later go on to raise their own families. Charlotte and her husband Chuck supported each other in every aspect throughout their lives and were very thankful for what the good Lord had bestowed upon them.
After having met the love of her life when she was in University during her senior year, Charlotte graduated at the top of her class, from San Jose State University as a registered nurse.
Upon graduation, she was asked to stay and help train the undergrad nursing candidates. She then started her nursing career during the 1950s in San Jose post-WWII era.
Charlotte completed her required training and residency and then she and Chuck moved their family to Tehachapi where she began working at the local Tehachapi Hospital. Among her favorite duties was working in emergency triage and assisting the surgeon during surgeries. Several years later, she and Chuck moved to Southern California where she worked for a doctors clinical internist group as a supervising nurse. The doctors valued her ability as a keen diagnostician asking her to consult during patient evaluations. She transferred to different prison facilities working as an R.N. and eventually made her way back home to Tehachapi. She worked as a supervising nurse in the state prison system for many years and helped save many lives working in emergency situations or as a medical caregiver. When Charlotte was in her late fifties, she retired as a supervising R.N. from the State Department of Corrections, California Correctional Institution, located in Tehachapi. She still kept her R.N. license active for many years after her retirement, just in case.
Charlotte lived a very active life and had much drive and ambition for her life and valued deeply the shared experiences with her offspring. She enjoyed traveling with her husband, Chuck, and also the simple quiet life filled with gardening and the wild critters that would visit her country home on a daily basis. She evoked confidence and wisdom within every aspect of her life and lived a well-fulfilled life with her husband and family. Her family has great admiration for her successes in pursuing her life’s aspirations. She taught her family that life is full of choices and that building integrity is a significant trait to uphold throughout life. Her faith-based approach and perseverance to “keep moving forward” has resonated throughout her family’s accomplishments.
Charlotte was blessed with four children and several wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by her devoted husband of 70 years, C.J “Chuck” Villalobos; children, Charles Brian Villalobos and beloved daughter in-law Marlys, Lynn Alison (Villalobos) Gannon and beloved son in-law Bill, and John Matthew Villalobos and beloved daughter in-law Karice. She is also survived by seven beloved grandchildren, Sean Bidabe Villalobos, Jessica Bidabe, Kelly Villalobos and Jenny Villalobos & beloved spouse Ry Wohnsen, John Bryce Villalobos and Matthew Joshua Villalobos & his beloved wife Sue-Ann. Also, six beloved great-grandchildren Elise (Wilhite) Wyatt, Austin Wilhite, Kristian Villalobos, Joey Martin, Tyler Wohnsen, Calvin Wohnsen, and Jayce Wohnsen. She was also blessed with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and felt lucky to have such a large and loving family.
Charlotte will be missed but, her legacy will be carried in perpetuity by her family for generations to come. Preceding her in death, she will be peacefully reunited in Heaven with her beautiful daughter Karyn Villalobos, her loving mother and father Theodoro Leiva and Victoria (Campas) Leiva, her strong brother Theodore Leiva and her adored grandson Joshua Villalobos.
Charlotte Mae (Leiva) Villalobos will be laid to rest by Wood Family Funeral in Tehachapi, Calif. Please join her family in the Celebration of Life Ceremony.
It will be held Sept. 26, 2019 (Thursday) at 11:30 a.m. at St. Malachy Catholic Church. Wood Family Funeral Service was entrusted with her care. For condolences please visit www.woodmortuary.net.