Future Reflections Summer 1991

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IN MEMORY OF CHARLOTTE VERDUIN

by Barbara Cheadle

Early in April the National Center for the Blind got a call from Cathy Randall, a federationist in Illinois, with some sad newsþCharlotte Verduin, second vice president of the Parents of Blind Children Division, had died of diabetic complications on April 7, 1991.

Charlotte's health had not been good for several years, but she never slacked in her determination to get her daughter Cherranne (who is blind) the best education possible, nor did she waver in her dedication to the National Federation of the Blind. When complications of diabetes made it impossible for her to walk much, she came to NFB national conventions in a wheelchair. Her cheerful, indomitable spirit was an inspiration to all who knew her.

I remember when Charlotte atttended her first national convention of the National Federation of the Blind in 1985. Her daughter, Cherranne, was about five years old. At that time blind children at conventions were still something of a novelty. Parents were just beginning to discover what a gold mine of information and role models the National Federation of the Blind is for parents and blind children. I recall Charlotte's telling me that she was so impressed with the people, philosophy, and attitude she encountered at her first convention that she made herself a promise to bring Cherranne to every annual National Federation of the Blind convention. And, despite her nagging health problems, Charlotte kept that promise. Cherranne has grown up with blind friends, mentors, and modelsþa rarity for most blind children.

Although Charlotte was soon elected to an office in the Parents of Blind Children Division, her willingness to work was never contingent upon holding some title. When something needed doing that she could do, she did it. In the six years that she was a member of the National Federation of the Blind she published articles in Future Reflections; the Braille Monitor; the NFB of Illinois newsletter; and the Voice of the Diabetic, a publication of the Diabetic Division of the National Federation of the Blind. She had been a Headstart teacher for a number of years (as long as her health allowed her to work) and at the time of her death was working on a master's thesis about echolalia (verbal imitation) in blind children.

Charlotte is survived by her daughter Cherranne, her parents Jacob and Bethy Verduin; a brother, Lans Verduin; sisters Leslie and Jan Verduin; and sister and brother-in-law Holly and Dana Heren (who are now Cherranne's guardians and acting parents). Charlotte will be sorely missed not only by her family, but by her friends and colleagues in the Parents of Blind Children Division of the National Federation of the Blind.

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