Charlotte Bedard was born on March 5, 1932 in New Hampshire and passed unexpectedly in her home on July 14, 2018, in Santa Clarita.
A true family matriarch, Charlotte rooted from humble beginnings in the small town of Pelham, New Hampshire. She married the love of her life, Donald Bedard in 1951 and became a mother in 1952, when her first son, Donald Jr. was born, followed shortly thereafter by Jerry. After numerous nights of dreaming of adventure and travels, Donald and Charlotte took a chance and packed up their station wagon with everything they owned and the four began a cross-country adventure, leaving the security of a small town for the unknown. Charlotte’s aspirations and humor are exemplified by commentary that she wrote on the back of a photo of San Pedro Harbor. The caption reads, “And this is where we would park our boat…if we had one!” Well, as Charlotte envisioned in the early 1960s, she would instill a great love for the outdoors because camping and boating would become a way of life for several generations of her family.
Charlotte has accomplished so much throughout her life that it is difficult to sum it down in a few sentences. In 1988, she co-founded Sylmar Graffiti Busters with Hannah Dyke. Using only community volunteers and some funding provided by Councilmember Ernani Bernardi, they worked four days per week, advocating to reduce and operating to remove community graffiti. Since inception, the organization that Charlotte created has removed over 11 million square feet of graffiti in Sylmar! Charlotte was instrumental in getting the county of Los Angeles to require businesses to lock up spray paint cans in efforts to reduce community graffiti. On December 22, 1990, just 2 years after co-founding the Sylmar Graffiti Busters, Charlotte and Hannah were able to convince the Los Angeles City council to pass and sign into law Los Angeles city ordinance 166399, requiring businesses to lock up spray cans.
In 1993, Charlotte was the first member appointed to the newly formed foothill police advisory board by Captain Tim McBride. She devoted endless hours of her time to get community involvement with local police department. She was named by City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo as one of “LA Pearls” for improving the quality of life and the image of seniors in Los Angeles.
In 2004 she was nominated for the Fernando Award, which is one of the top awards for civic accomplishment in the nation and the highest award for volunteerism in the greater San Fernando Valley. The Fernando Award has been called the Academy Award for Volunteerism. Charlotte was also a member of the Sylmar Women’s Club, Sylmar Chamber of Commerce, Questers (antique collectors club), and numerous other civic associations. She has received several commendations from Los Angeles city mayors Tom Bradley, Richard Riordan, and James Hahn for exemplary volunteer service to the community. Although her work here on Earth is done, the legacy she began will continue for years to come.
Charlotte is survived by her five children, Don, Jerry, Charlene, Valerie, and Keith, along with nineteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She is proceeded in death by her sisters, Rhoda, Grace, and Edith and her brother, Jessie Jr.
Services & a celebration will be held on August 25 at 10:30 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church: 23244 Lyons Ave., Newhall, California with a reception immediately following at Belcaro Grove House: 28209 River Trail Lane, Valencia and as she lived in life all are welcome.
Long live the beauty and strength that comes down and onto all of us.