The Peace Corps community lost an important member with the passing of Charlotte Utting of Seattle on October 7, 2006. Charlotte touched the lives of many people around the world, and was a tenacious fighter for peace and justice everywhere.
Born in Germany, Charlotte moved to China in 1934, where her father worked as an economic advisor. With the outbreak of war in the Pacific in 1941, Charlotte moved to Victoria, BC, with her mother and sister. There she met her husband, and the couple relocated to Seattle, where she graduated from the University of Washington, and raised 2 sons. When the youngest turned 18, Charlotte applied to the Peace Corps, and was sent to Senegal in 1980, where she worked in health care and community-based agriculture projects. After stints in graduate school, and as an advisor in the English department of the UW, she joined the Peace Corps again, serving in Cameroon from 1989-90 as a maternal-child health specialist. Upon her return to Seattle, she worked as a Peace Corps recruiter for 5 years. She was a driving force behind programs to host and support international students at the UW and also assisted students she knew in Senegal to complete their education.
Charlotte was an active member of WSPCA and its predecessor group RAVN (Returned Action Volunteers in the NW, the original name), holding various leadership roles over the years. She was also a major supporter of the National Peace Corps Association and a member of its Director’s Circle. When health problems forced Charlotte to retire, she retained her keen interest in world affairs and was an outspoken participant in peace and global justice campaigns.
Many people gathered to remember Charlotte at a memorial service in Seattle, including a large contingent of RPCVs. Charlotte is survived by a sister, her sons and their families. Memorials in her name may be sent to Doctors Without Borders, 333 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10001.
More information about Charlotte and her life’s work:
Obituary in the Seattle Times: Charlotte Utting, 74, “born to be involved” http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003319855_utting24m.html
Charlotte Utting – For This Peace Corps Volunteer, Once Was Not Enough