Charlotte Cooper Callen Obituary


Charlotte Cooper Callen Obituary

Charlotte Cooper Callen, a resident of Winter Haven for more than half a century, where she raised her brood of three girls and four boys, died April 6, 2022 with her children by her side. She was 85.

Born in Chicago on January 15, 1937, her biological father, a dentist, died of leukemia when she was but a toddler. Not long afterwards her mother Elsa, a nurse, met, fell in love with and married George Cooper, who had been a star college athlete, a World War I pilot and an instructor of anatomy and physiology at the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Cooper — “Coop” to all — was in every sense her real father as well as an inspiring example to her and her sister.

Raised in South Bend, Indiana, Charlotte excelled in school and sports, moving as a young woman to New York City where she graduated from Katherine Gibbs College. One day, while working as a secretary in the Seagrams Building, she encountered a dapper young man by the name of Casper Robinson “Robi” Callen Jr., who soon wooed and won her.

Following the birth of their first five children, they moved to Winter Haven in 1967 where Robi pursued his business career and Charlotte continued her all-encompassing career as wife and mother, as well as step-mother to Robi’s other children.

Vivacious, beautiful and energetic, she instilled in her children her own parents’ emphasis on the importance of education and physical activity. All her offspring became active in school and sports, especially in the realms of swimming, tennis and soccer. Their home was never without at least one golden retriever.

Charlotte herself was possessed of boundless energy and she thought nothing, after a long day, of playing tennis at night while her children were in bed, followed by preparing and serving a full dinner for her husband, then up again at dawn to ready her children for school.

Charlotte loved travel and classical music and became friends with pianist Michael Ponti, who gave several private concerts in their home on the magnificent nine-foot grand that graced their living room, once playing the entire score of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

She is remembered by her children and grandchildren in many ways, but terms that reoccur include loyal, cultured, generous, stubborn, caring, kind, strict, stoic, sweet — and always loving.

Though they eventually divorced, she and Robi maintained a relationship for the rest of their lives, sharing the love of their children and grandchildren.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, Elsa and George Cooper, and sister Patricia. She is survived by her children Tarquin Miles Callen, Justine Callen Bohannon, Dorian von Beyer Callen, Desiree Callen O’Neill, Sean Robinson Callen, Andre Patrick Callen and Ian Downing Callen as well as their spouses; grandchildren Alex Bohannon, Hans Bohannon, Erik Bohannon, Zachary Bohannon, Cooper Callen-Wilson, Ireland O’Neill, Sage Callen, Cade Callen, Ava Callen, Andre Callen, Maddox Callen, Gloria Callen, Coel Callen, Kas Callen, Quinn Callen and Charlotte Callen; nephew George Meyer and nieces Janet Larsen, Karen Murray and Kristen Harris.

Services will be April 30th at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winter Haven. Memorial donations may be made to the YMCA at Camp Eberhart, 10487 Camp Eberhart Road, Three River MI 49093; or the Humane Society of Polk County, 3195 Dundee Rd., Winter Haven FL 33884.