Charlotte Miller Enberg was born Charlotte Hedwig Schroeder on May 25, 1925 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was the third of five children. Her parents, Jacob Schroeder and Erna (nee Unruh) Schroeder had recently immigrated to Canada from Ukraine, where their first two daughters died in infancy due to starvation from the famine that raged in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Although well-to-do there (or more accurately, because they were well-to-do), Jacob and Erna were forced to leave the Ukraine in the early 1920s, as their lives were in danger. This series of events had major influence on the family and there was often talk of the family still left back in the Soviet Union.
Charlotte and her parents settled in the Mennonite community of Greendale, British Columbia near Chilliwack, where her two younger brothers, Hugo and Edgar (both now deceased) were born. She spent much of her childhood in the poverty of the great depression, as her parents worked to establish themselves as dairy farmers. Due to her parents' backgrounds, however, she developed a love of reading and literature, and learned to be engaged and informed about national and international affairs. Her mother, a devout Mennonite, nurtured her religious side while her father (who did not accept Mennonite beliefs) taught her to think critically and question everything. Those who knew her well could see both influences running deeply within her. She developed an interest in writing poetry during her youth, an interest that she carried throughout her life. She often shared her poems with family and friends. Charlotte grew up speaking German as her first language and did not learn English until she attended elementary school. After struggling the first year due to the language barrier, she consistently earned the highest marks all the way through public school. She described her adolescent years as difficult due to the war with Germany, and she often stated that the anti-German hatred and bigotry she experienced during the war years was a major reason why she vehemently opposed racism and bigotry of any kind throughout her life.
Upon completing high school, she earned a full scholarship to the University of British Colmubia where she majored in psychology. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Psychology with an emphasis in early childhood development at the University of Toronto. Charlotte always loved children, and her choice of a university major reflected that love. Shortly after returning to British Columbia, she began dating Con David Miller whom she knew from childhood, and they were married in Greendale on December 26, 1951. Con and Charlotte had three children, Robert born in Vancouver BC in 1953, Connie born in Chilliwack BC in 1955, and Cathy born in Longview Washington in 1958. Charlotte, Con, Robert, and Connie moved to the United States at the end of 1956. Charlotte maintained a special love for Canada throughout her life.
The young family made their home in Longview, Washington where Con secured a good job as a research chemist for Weyerhaueser Company. The family had a close relationship with John and Amelia Weber and their children Linda, Dennis, Beth, and Judy, who were relatives of Con through marriage. Frequent trips 'home' to Canada were also the norm during the years from 1957 through 1970, as both Con and Charlotte maintained close relationships with their families of origin.
By 1969, Charlotte had received teaching certification from the State of Washington. This was a fortuitous occurrence because her husband, Con had a massive heart attack and passed away in March 1970. Charlotte, now a 45 year-old single parent, began a new career as a public school teacher in Kelso, Washington. She taught primary grades, and was amazing to watch in action. She pursued this career until her retirement. Her enthusiasm for teaching was infectious, and she often came home with stories of her students. Sometimes she would bring her own children to class to help with the teaching or classroom chores.
After Con's death, Charlotte was single for some 20 years. She kept herself busy with her work, her children, and her close friends. She played a lot of duplicate bridge, volunteered for her church, and attended single-parenting social events. None of these events seemed to feature men that Charlotte felt were long-term partnership material. Upon her retirement, she left Longview and moved to Vancouver, Washington. There she met Paul Enberg.
Paul and Charlotte were married on May 25, 1990. As a couple, they were very active in both the Unity Church, and the Abundant Life Center. Charlotte participated in the youth education for both churches, and even developed a teaching curriculum for the Sunday school program. She also ran a co-op preschool for the disadvantaged in North Portland for a couple of years. As she aged, Charlotte kept occupied with tutoring children, playing bridge, doing crossword puzzles, keeping up with world affairs, and helping raise her grandchildren, Gretchen and Heidi Bail. During their years together, Paul and Charlotte made trips to Europe and Australia, as well as numerous camping trips all over North America. They also enjoyed frequent camping trips throughout the northwest, often with their granddaughters Gretchen and Heidi, or grandsons Odin and Gunnar Miller.
Charlotte passed peacefully away at Angels Hands Adult Family Home care facility on March 31, 2022. Before passing she made peace with her Maker. She is survived by Paul Enberg, her husband of 32 years, her son Robert Miller, daughters Connie Sayler, and Cathy Bail, and three stepchildren, Mark and David Enberg, and Laurie Williams and their spouses. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren as well as 10 great grandchildren from both marriages, and numerous close friends.
There will be a memorial service at Northwood Park Funeral Home, 16407 15th Ave in Ridgefield, Washington on June 18, 2022 at 1:00 PM. Her ashes will be interred at Greendale Cemetery on Watson Road in Sardis, British Columbia.