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Madonna J. Charlier

August 13, 1935 July 13, 2011
Madonna J. Charlier
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Obituary for Madonna J. Charlier

Madonna J. Charlier, of Birmingham, died peacefully at her daughter�s home in Berkley, July 13, 2011, surrounded by her family. She was 75 years old. Madonna was born August 13, 1935, in Detroit, the first daughter and third child out of ten Springer children born to Dorothy (nee Livernois) and Bradford Springer. At one point her Mom lovingly called her �Snow White� because up until she was 16 years old Madonna was the only girl with seven brothers.

Although most often celebrated for her outward beauty, to only see that was to miss the best of Madonna. Her heart was for the vulnerable and the needy. She loved animals, babies, children, the poor, and the sick. As a child, she often brought home stray animals and helped her Mom care for her many siblings, including coming home at lunchtime from Holy Name School to hang diapers. Madonna went on to become an RN and spent 30 years as a surgical nurse, most of those at William Beaumont Hospital. She was a perfectionist and was most often selected for the Neuro team because of her meticulous attention to detail. Madonna was very kind, gentle, and compassionate. Never complaining, quiet and loyal - the epitome of class and grace.

Growing up, Madonna did not lag behind her athletic brothers. Instead, her fierce competitive spirit, speed and coordination earned her a place on the Providence Nursing College basketball team. Her love for sports never wavered as she continued throughout her life to exercise, dance, and become her children�s and grandchildren�s �Biggest Fan�. She loved to play games, volleyball, tennis, paddleball, ping pong, softball, and basketball. Madonna also loved the water. She was a slalom water skier into her sixties, loved boats, and was often accused of being a sun worshipper, although to know her was to know she was never without her visor or lounge chair umbrella.

Madonna loved music! God created her with a song in her heart and she could play the piano and sing and harmonize beautifully. At any time, in any place when there was music, she was humming, harmonizing, moving and smiling. This is a characteristic she passed down to all her children and grandchildren, a family of dancers. She also sang in church and in choir and loved the Lord deeply.

Madonna married Felix Charlier on May 30, 1959. They were married for 52 years. This man was the love of her life. Another musician and great dancer, they spent many hours enjoying both. They also loved the water together whether on a pontoon boat, speed boat or just sitting on the front porch of their cabin. They had four daughters in five years. Michelle, Lauri, Monique and Nanette, along with their spouses and grandchildren were blessed by her great capacity to love. She was called Marmee, in keeping with the Louisa May Alcott�s classic tale �Little Women�. There are many many many photos of Marmee playing with her babies, swimming, skiing, singing, reading, laughing, and attending all their events.

Yes, Madonna was beautiful. Always perfect in her fashion sense, her outward appearance, gracefully elegant and classic. But to see only this would be to only scratch the surface of who Madonna truly was. Her family will miss her deeply and are praising God for the time they had with her. We are most blessed and thankful!

Madonna is survived by her beloved husband, Felix Charlier, her daughters, Michele (Mark) Pageau, Lauri (fianc� Steve Cooper) Despard, Monique (Art) Zentgraf, and Nanette (Kevin) Casida, and 14 grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings, Dan (the late Lynn) Springer, Br. Mike Springer, Tim (Sandy) Springer, Paul (Mary) Springer, Dcn. Mark (Paula) Springer, John (Kathi) Springer, Mary (Tony) Filippis, and Joe (Tish) Springer. She is preceded in death by her brother, Tom Springer.

Visitation will take place at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Thursday 3-8pm, with a prayer service led by her brother Mark at 7pm. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Church of St. Alan, 2345 Coolidge, Troy, Friday 10am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9:30am.

Memorials appreciated to Alzheimer�s Association, 20300 Civic Center Drive, Suite 100, Southfield, Michigan 48076, or the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott Street, Detroit, Michigan 48207.

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