Charlotte LaFaye Ballard-Brister of Old Union passed away Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest in Waco after a brief illness.
A memorial service honoring Charlotte’s life will be celebrated at 11:30 AM at the Old Union Church/School on Saturday, February 8, 2020, with Pastor Jimmy Petty officiating. Burial will follow in the Old Union Cemetery.
Charlotte was born October 29, 1948 in Groesbeck to Albert Nolan and Joyce Geraldine (Mason) Deans. Charlotte started school in Freeport, moved on to Groesbeck, and completed her high school graduation at MacArthur High in Irving.
Charlotte was the oldest of three sisters by 7 and 10 years. She was brought up in the cotton and peanut fields of Oletha at an early age. She loved to go “feed” the cows but would run when one of them looked at her. Her favorite thing as a small child was making and eating mud pies. In 1959, the family moved from Groesbeck to Irving, where she played clarinet in Junior High and softball. She also attended Kirkwood United Methodist Church where she was an active member of the MYF.
In 1964 she met her future first husband on a MYF hayride. She married James Ballard, Jr. the following year. He enlisted as an MP in the Army and their travel life began. They lived in Gretna, LA, Atlanta, GA and Hawaii.
When she married Leon Brister, they lived in Virginia and North Carolina before moving back to Texas. Charlotte had a very full life that she would not trade in for anything.
Charlotte was taught by her grandmother, “Ma Loudie” how to crochet. She made several Afghans for nieces and nephews and several of her closest friends. She was a wonderful cook with her specialties being cherry cream cheesecake, spinach dip, homemade spaghetti sauce, German chocolate cake, and peach cobbler. She worked for years as a cook at both small country grills and restaurants. One of her biggest gifts was the love of dogs. She had several over her life and Rocky was her last. He was a brindle pug that she loved dearly. She also had a pet squirrel, birds, and even a monkey when she was growing up. Charlotte also had a great fondness of crossword puzzles and computer games to pass the time.
Another of Charlotte’s gifts was the flock of young people that drew to her and called her “Mama Charlotte”. She could offer guidance when needed and she was never at a loss for words. You always knew how she felt. If she thought you needed it, you received a “correctional interview” and you’d be on your merry way. She will definitely be missed by all of the family and friends.
Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents; paternal grandparents, Rufus and Lou Deans and maternal grandparents, Basil and Lula Mason; and her husband, Leon Brister.
She was survived by her two sisters, Evelyn Deans-Johnson of Teague and Lana Stephans and husband Woody of Anna; step-son, Jeffrey Brister; step-daughter, Michelle Brister; nieces, Jaime Johnson and Kassi Stephans; nephews, Brandon and wife Angie Stephans, Brandon and wife Jennifer Johnson, and Casey Johnson; several great nieces and nephews; cousins; and aunt, Joyce Deans.