Charlene Louise Rutcosky (Cartwright), 70, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, Jan. 2. She was born on April 13, 1952 in Butte, Montana and was the second child of Charles and Mary Cartwright (Strakal). She loved her three sisters Shirley, Mary and Christine.
Charlene graduated in 1984 from Spokane Community College’s Nursing School. Becoming a nurse was one of Charlene’s proudest moments and she received awards for having the highest grades in her class. She was hired at Sacred Heart Medical Center and spent time working on the Cardiac and Neurology floors.
In 1992 Charlene married Roger Rutcosky. They enjoyed traveling, RVing and visiting family together. Roger passed away in 2013.
One of Charlene’s enduring qualities is that she could make a fun time out of nothing. She loved dancing around the house and singing to Motown and country music - especially Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Loretta Lynn. Her favorite songs and stories were about strong women who overcame adversity. She was a living model of this to everyone who knew her.
She was kind and generous and everyone who met her described her as sweet. She was also tough and stubborn and that tenacity helped her survive and thrive despite some tough times in her life. She was curious and loved to travel to new places. She was able to visit the United States from coast to coast and loved Las Vegas, Disneyland and trips to New York City, Boston and Alaska.
She was a beloved Nana to her grandchildren: Brandon and Hunter Deane and Lorn and Mars Jaeger. Nothing made her happier than spending time with and spoiling these four.
Charlene was preceded in death by parents Charles and Mary Cartwright, husband Roger Rutcosky, sisters Shirley Huffaker and Christine Cartwright, niece Crystal Handsaker and nephew Chad Taylor.
Charlene is survived by her sister Mary Cartwright of Butte, daughter Natalie, son in law Jesse and grandchildren Lorn and Mars of Missoula, step-daughter Renita Deane of Spokane, step-son Bill Rutcosky of Seqium, grandsons Brandon and Hunter Deane of Moses Lake, and friends, nieces and nephews in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte and Anaconda.
A memorial service will be held at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11am. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Charlene’s name to YWCA Missoula at 1800 S 3rd St West Missoula, Montana 59801.