CHARLES, Rochelle "Shelly"
Of Kettering. On Sunday, March 28, 2021, Shelly, loving wife and mother of two boys, passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 96, with her loving children by her side.
Shelly was born on April 14, 1924, in Dayton to Philip and Thelma Sokol. She received a Political Science degree from Smith College in 1946, where she began a life continuously expanding her knowledge and interests in the arts, history, literature and theater. On June 10, 1945, she married Leland Charles, a native of New York City. Eventually settling in Dayton, they raised two beloved sons, Kenneth and Donald.
To know Shelly is to know she was passionate about many things; however, life-long learning, volunteering, philanthropy, and family topped her list. In addition to being a voracious reader, she satisfied her thirst for knowledge by taking Art History classes at Wright State University and by attending hundreds of plays and performances by the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Art Institute, the Loft Theater and the Dayton Ballet. She also enjoyed her life-long membership of the Women's Literary Club of Dayton.
Selflessly volunteering her time to several meaningful organizations brought Shelly immense pleasure and joy. She cherished being a docent at the Dayton Art Institute and enjoyed her time volunteering at the Book Loft, a benefactor of Planned Parenthood. She also made the time to write children's plays for the Dayton Philharmonic, to work with children's remedial reading programs and to sponsor other local organizations needing assistance. She was a lifetime member of Beth Abraham, of which her father was a founding member, and Temple Israel of Dayton.
For Shelly, time spent with family was paramount. She was a dedicated, loving daughter, wife, mother and grandmother, who loved openly and with her whole heart. With her innate giving nature, she taught us the importance of taking care of family with unconditional love. She was incredibly kind, spirited and intelligent, with a wonderful sense of humor that put one at ease in her presence. She smiled easily and taught family members they were never too old to learn something new, the thrill and excitement that traveling the world could bring, and even (to a few) how to whistle.
To many she loved, Shelly clipped and mailed newspaper articles related to topics impacting their lives. Opening a letter to find another clipping made family members smile, happy in the knowledge that regardless of the path they chose, she always was interested in them, wanted the best for them and simply loved them. She instilled a love of the arts in her children and grandchildren, and if they wanted to discuss the theater, the ballet, museums, art or literature, Shelly was the one to call - but never during Jeopardy!
Shelly was preceded in death by the love of her life, Leland, her husband of 52 years; as well as her beloved parents, Philip and Thelma Sokol; and her brother and his wife, Boris and Kay Sokol. She is survived by her sons, Donald and Kenneth
(Sheila) Charles; her grandchildren, Philip (Erika) Charles, Marc (Jana) Charles and Heather (Dan) Basta; and her great-grandsons, Edward Charles and Bennett Basta; as well as her nephews and nieces, Larry (Martha) Sokol, Nora (Bob) Newsock, and Amy (Adam) Oakley.
Graveside services were held on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Beth Abraham Cemetery with Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Dayton Children's Hospital, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, OH 45404-1815. https://www.childrensdayton.org. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Marker & Heller Funeral Homes.