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Rena Mae Charette Keith

Rena Mae Charette Keith, 85, formerly of Sierra Vista, AZ, passed away peacefully on October 27, 2019 at her daughter’s home in Chandler, AZ after a rapid decline with dementia. Her husband and four children had all been together sharing in her care.

She is survived by her sister Sylvia Michaud (Gene) of Presque Isle, Maine, her husband, Willard Lee of Chandler, AZ, her sons Willard “Butch” Jr  (Jenise) of Ogden, UT and Jefferey of Sierra Vista, AZ, her daughters, Patricia May of Sierra Vista, AZ and Debra Ann Cenatiempo (Donald) of Chandler, AZ,  10 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her father Armand Pea Charette, her mother Laura Gagnon, her brothers Lawrence, Edward, and Delsie (Angela), and her sisters Claudette, Dora Rice (George), Delores Martin (Richard) , Dorothy “Lulu”, and Norma.

Rena was born August 10, 1934 in Ft. Kent, Maine. She grew up speaking French as her primary language. She was a member of the Catholic Church and attended Catholic Schools. She was always fun-loving and a prankster, even with the nuns.

She left High School early at age 16, to travel to the big city of Hartford, CT with two girlfriends. She loved laughter and people.  She enjoyed music from the Big Band era and dancing the night away.  It was love at first sight meeting Willard at a coffee shop, and they soon married on September 30, 1953 in Manchester, Connecticut. They recently celebrated 66 years of marriage! They had 4 children and traveled to live wherever the military sent them.  This included West Point, NY; Aschaffenburg, Germany; Alexandria, VA; Frankfurt, Germany; and finally Junction City, KS. After Willard’s military retirement, they lived in Florida, Utah, Sierra Vista, AZ for 20 years, back to Florida, her home state of Maine, and back to Sierra Vista in 2014. They moved into their daughter’s home in Chandler only 9 days before her passing.

In addition to her love of being a mother and homemaker, Rena also enjoyed owning her own businesses with The Diet Center and Herbalife (Junction City, KS), Speedy Pack and Ship (Layton, UT),  and her craft and stained  glass businesses (Sierra Vista, AZ). She was a very creative and talented artist. In her last years, she thoroughly enjoyed adult coloring books until it became too difficult for her.

Rena and her family converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in August of 1970 and their family was sealed for time and eternity in the LDS Swiss Temple in 1972. Her loved ones will take comfort in knowing their family can be together forever,  but will miss their mother, wife, sister, grandmother,  and friend.

Visitation will be on November 4th, 2019 at 10:00 am, followed by a memorial service at 11:00 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 1950 West Galveston Street in Chandler, AZ. A private family burial will take place the same day at 2:00 pm at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ.

7 Comments

  • Butch Keith Posted November 1, 2019 12:20 PM

    I’m going to miss you. Love ya, Mom. Au Revoir!

    • Patricia Keith Posted November 5, 2019 6:56 PM

      mom you were the best and I will miss you very very much now is the time for you to rest , May your spirit be with us and help us be stronger I will never ever forget you ever love and miss you very much rest in peace know my loving mother ,

  • Macae Hansen Posted November 1, 2019 12:33 PM

    You were the funnest grandma, miss you Rena Mae!

  • Norma Yearsley Posted November 1, 2019 12:48 PM

    Rena, you were a wonderful lady. I so enjoyed visiting you, although not as much after you moved toward Hereford. Will truly miss you.

  • Chris and Steve Smith Posted November 1, 2019 3:00 PM

    I will always remember her laughter, she was so much fun to be around! Our prayers are with you guys at this time love you

  • Sylvia Michaud Posted November 2, 2019 11:07 AM

    R.I.P. dear sister and save me a place until God calls my name to be there too! Thanks, sis, for all the memories and laughter we have shared over the years. Until we meet again………I love you!

  • Phyllis Fortin Morin Posted November 2, 2019 1:13 PM

    RIP Rena…As a young neighbor, I always looked up to you, gutsy and full of fun!

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