Mrs. Elsie Charlene Terranova, age 75, of Rockford went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, July 23, 2011. The daughter of Mike and Doris Rayce, she grew up in Cedar Springs and was a graduate of Cedar Springs High School class of 1954, where she served on the Yearbook Committee, participated in Drama Club productions, and was in the Red Flannel Day Court.
Charlene attended Grand Rapids Community College and earned her associates degree in 1956. She married Alexander Terranova Jr. on August 22, 1958, and moved to Big Rapids, where their first child, Douglas, was born. In 1962 they moved to Spring Lake, where Denise and Steven were born, and she became a full-time mother.
Moving to Muscatine, Iowa in 1971, Charlene went back to college. After mastering Spanish, she taught English to migrant workers’ children during the summer. In 1977 they moved to Grafton, Wis., where she adopted both the Brewers and Packers. She worked for the State Department of Social Services, and in the late ‘70s wrote a paper on child care licensing that was eventually adopted by the state.
After moving to Rockford in 1987, she became a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, where, along with Eileen Torrey, she started the Appalachian Service Project trips. She also served as counselor at Pentwater Methodist Church Camp.
Charlene considered her greatest accomplishment being a Godly wife and mother, crediting her parents for setting a fine example. She was an avid sports fan who enjoyed attending Detroit Tigers and Grand Rapids Whitecaps baseball games, Detroit Lions football games, and all Rockford Rams sporting events. Summers found her on Bois Blanc Island, Mich. at the family cottage.
Charlene is survived by her loving husband, Alex; children, Doug and Will Ann Terranova of Kaufman, Texas, Denise and Lewis Siegel of Otsego, Mich., and Steve and Laurie Terranova of Belmont; 11 grandchildren; sister and brothers, Susan and Roger Miller of Cheboygan, Mich., Bruce and Carey Rayce of Midland, Mich., and Bob and Kirsten Rayce of Denmark.
The service for Mrs. Terranova was on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Rockford United Methodist Church with Pastor Dick Riley, Pastor Jan Rogacki and Pastor Laurel TenHaven-Chapman officiating. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Rockford United Methodist Church.
Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.