She was born September 23, 1958 at Scott, AFB, Ill., to Howard A. and Charlcie Q. Cates, and grew up in Noel, Mo., the fifth child of seven. She graduated from McDonald County High School, Anderson, Mo., in 1976 and received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Drury University in Springfield, Mo. To her friends and family she was known as “Charlou” as a child, and later as “Chay.”
She was preceded in death by her father, Howard A. Cates, in 1988.
Charlcie is survived by her mother and stepfather, Charlcie Q. Cates and Fred Merrell, of Neosho, Mo.; a son, Steven Craig Peck, his fiancée, Allie Nichols, and their son, Steven Rowan Peck, all of Noel; a daughter, Monica Millsap of Springfield; three sisters, Martha Serna and husband Pete of Humble, Texas; Brenda Kilby and husband Larry of Jane, Mo.; and Beth Oakes and husband Bill of Albuquerque, N.M.; three brothers, Allen Cates and wife Lucette of Lafayette, La.; Jerry Cates and wife Janet, of Round Rock, Texas; and John Cates and wife Jong of Arlington, Va.; a neice, Desara Kilby Short and her husband Donald, of Granby; several nephews, and a host of other family and friends. She is also survived by her cat, Annabelle, a gorgeous grey and white tabby, who misses her terribly.
Charlcie was a beautiful person, inside and out. She was a flight attendant for Continental Airlines, based in Houston. She excelled and took pride in her job, which she loved. She was often assigned to fly to South and Central America, Canada, Europe and many points in the U.S. She was an accomplished runner, and completed several marathons and ran the half marathon to the summit of Pike’s Peak. She was a devoted mother, and loved being a grandmother to Rowan. She was a daughter, sister and friend who brought joy to everyone who knew her.
She enjoyed a good cup of coffee in the morning while watching the sunrise and a fine glass of wine with her companions. She was creative, intelligent, giving, loved to read and was a gifted and insightful writer. Shoes were her passion and she gave Imelda Marcos a run for her money. She had a wonderful sense of humor, loved to laugh and she enjoyed all comedies.
A memorial service is set in Humble, Texas, for 1 p.m. Saturday, at the Morales Funeral home at 2901 Canal Street, Houston, TX 77003. A second memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at the United Methodist Church, 106 N St John St, Noel, Mo. After cremation, her ashes will be interred at the Noel Cemetery, next to her father and her maternal grandmother.