WATERTOWN — Audrey L. (Bradshaw) Charbonneau died Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at Brandywine Senior Living of Litchfield after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late Leo "Charby" Charbonneau.
Audrey was born April 14, 1927, in Yonkers, N.Y., the daughter of the late Frederick and Loretta (Conway) Bradshaw. She was raised in Oakville, a graduate of the Class of 1945 of Watertown High School, and attended Perry School of Business in downtown Waterbury.
She was a resident of Watertown until her move to assisted living in 2015. She was a lifelong communicant of St. Mary Magdalen Church.
Growing up above “Fred A. Bradshaw Community Service Station,” now Bradshaw Chrysler Jeep, she would often reminisce about the war days when her mother worked second shift at Scovill Manufacturing and she and her sisters would have to pump gas after school.
After her father died in 1955, she assisted her mother and husband who took over the business and ran a successful car dealership in the same location. As Bradshaw’s grew from Hudson to Jeep, and after her husband’s death in 1992, she was her daughter’s right hand in doing daily tasks of banking and running necessary errands.
Until her retirement to Brandywine, she was a daily fixture at Bradshaw’s. Her daily schedule was a joy for her; making deposits at Litchfield Bancorp, heading to the Watertown Post Office and shopping at LaBonne's. She enjoyed every encounter at each location. She was a kind person and everyone in turn was kind to her.
In their later years, Audrey and Charby became involved in the National Hudson Club, influential in forming a local chapter of Hudson car enthusiasts. Audrey served as treasurer for many years and assumed that position in the Hudson Historical Society. They hosted many car meets through the years, attended numerous gatherings throughout the country and formed many close friendships.
After Charby’s death, she continued to be active in the club until she could no longer drive. It can be said with great pride that Audrey exemplified a “life well lived.”
Left to remember, cherish and honor her love and legacy are her daughters, Susan Atkins and her husband, Victor, of Watertown and Ann Charbonneau and her husband, Michael Hlavna, of East Haven; her son, John Charbonneau and his wife, Susan, of Watertown; her grandchildren, Megan Skrzyniarz and her husband, Michael, of Meriden and their children, Alex and Julia; Dana Neave and her daughter, Brynn Bartone of Oakville, Laura Hoosier and her husband, Eric, of Anchorage, Alaska, and their children, Evan, Grace, Ethan and Rhys; Susanne Carpenter and her husband, Peter, of Belmont, Mass., and their daughter, Tess and Andrew Charbonneau of Glastonbury; her sister, Marilyn Sartori of Suffield; her sister-in-law, Doris Charbonneau of Waterbury; and several nieces and nephews, including Ken and Claire Collier who cared for her like a mother.
She had many good friends, including Don and Carol Stepanek of Watertown, Carmen LaFlamme of Richmond ,Vt., a fellow Hudson enthusiast, and Linda Boucher of Myrtle Beach, S.C., her longtime hairdresser.
Besides her husband, she was predeceased by her daughter, Lorene Neave; her sister, Shirley Collier and husband, George, and her brother in-law, Charles Sartori.
The family wishes to thank and acknowledge the management and staff of Brandywine Senior Living, her home for the last four years, for their kind and loving care. She loved living there.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 17, at St. Mary Magdalen Church. Those planning to attend are asked to meet directly at the church. There are no calling hours. Arrangements are by O’Neill Funeral Home, 742 Main St,. Oakville.
To honor Audrey’s memory and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary Magdalen Church, 16 Buckingham St., Oakville 06779.
To extend online expressions of sympathy to the family or for more information, visit www.oneillfuneralhome.com.