Charlcie Cates Millsap – 1958-2010


Charlcie Louise Millsap, 51, of Humble, Texas, and formerly of Springfield, Mo., died Tuesday morning, July 6, 2010, in a Houston, Texas hospital after a brief illness.

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.

21 thoughts on “Charlcie Cates Millsap – 1958-2010

  1. Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss. Marilyn Carnell shared with me yesterday and I was hoping to get your mailing address to send you a card. You where blessed to have Charlcie as a sister. May God strengthen you during your time of grief and may you keep the memories of Charlicie in your heart forever.

  2. Thanks to both Marilyns – the obituary was a true group effort, with all six of us siblings and Mom taking part in creating it. We all loved her so much – she was truly the best person I knew and it is unbearable how much we miss her.

  3. Of course, you could never say enough to honor Chay. This announcement says a lot about her, and she would have smiled, like I did, when reading it. The picture shows her beautifully! I know I am a better person because of her, and plan to become even a better person as a legacy to her. Again, my heart goes out to her family, friends, and Annabelle.

  4. I was online when Brenda posted a prayer request for her sister who was ill, and not long after that Brenda posted again with the news that she had passed away…and I felt so sad…and my prayers changed to one of healing to one of comfort for all of Charlcie’s family and friends. I had not seen Charlcie since 1976 and 1996, and I was glad when she accepted my friend request on Facebook. It was fun for me to see how she was living her life (via photos) and to read how she enjoyed her job, etc. She was very blessed. *HUGS*

  5. Mom, thanks so much on mentioning Donnie and I, in the obit. It really means a lot to us. We will miss our Aunt Chay and we will never forget how she touched each of our lives, with her kindness.

  6. Brenda,
    My heart bleeds for your loss, your sister is a beautiful person both in side and out. I can tell by the write up the the world has lost a wonderful person. I wish I would have had the opportunity to have known her.
    I’m sorry for you and your family’s loss.
    God bless you and yours through this difficult time.

  7. What a great tribute to Charlou! I’m sure she’s smiling down on all. What a truly special lady!

  8. You only had to meet Charlou once to know how much she loved her family. She was fun and very giving. I am gald I had the oportunity to be part of her life, she will be missed. My heart goes out to all of you, thank you for the beautiful obituary and sharing her life with us all.

  9. When I picture Chay, I see the graceful way she carried herself, the shimmer of sunny auburn hair falling over her shoulder, dark, expressive compassionate eyes, and that smile that will stay with me forever. But what made her most beautiful and full of grace, was the way she treated others. I am so fortunate to have been one of those whose life is better because of Chay. She was my friend. Thank you to all in Chay’s family who helped her become the wonderful woman we love and always will.

    • I was Chay’s sister too and I can tell you that she was never mean to anyone, she never lost her temper or hurt anyone. I guess only the good die young for sure. I miss her so much and will miss her forever. I loved her. I love you Chay. I miss you!!! Come to me in my dreams, le’ts shop and eat Mexican food and laugh like we used to. The world is darker without you in it.

      • I’ve been thinking about her quite a bit, especially during the holidays. She is there, I know it, somewhere. Martha, she is with you when you are eating her favorites and having a good time; and she was here the other day when I found the rock she gave me; she was the kindest, sweetest person I have ever known. Or probably ever will know. When she went to England once, she got to see Stonehenge (before I later did) and I asked her to bring me back a piece of it, in jest, of course. She came home with a rock for me, and then had to tell me that it wasn’t from Stonehenge, exactly, but from England, nonetheless. I treasured it and kept it near my favorite things on my dresser. After she died, I picked up that rock and put it in my purse, to have it with me where ever I went. Then it disappeared. I couldn’t believe I had lost it! And then the other day, there it was, on my bookshelf where I had put it, of course. Right in front of the Guide to Literary Terms. Chay was an accomplished scholar – had a degree in English and would have been a wonderful teacher, had she chosen to go that route. It was fitting to find it where it was.

  10. Pingback: Charlcie Louise Millsap (b.1958-d.2010) « Noel High School

  11. When I think of Charlou,,,I just rememeber how tall and thin she was,,,,long hair and always laughing. We spent alot of time together when we were young. John and Martha were always running around the house and we would hide in her room and stay up late and talk about boys and school…she was full of ideas and things that she wanted from life….I am so glad that she was happy and full of life and loved life!!! It looks like she had great friendships,,,people who really loved her and that is the comfort that I have right now. We all should be so lucky to have people say nice things of love about us when we go.

  12. I was very shocked and saddened to hear about Char-Lou. I remember her as a little girl when my family and I came to see her family many years ago.. Please know all of you are in our thoughts and prayers everyday. Ronee Davis Stonewall , La.

  13. I still can’t realize that Chay has passed. By now, we would have called each other, to “catch up”. I know my life will not be the same. . .I miss her terribly. We knew each other so well, that we could talk about anything and everything. I want to laugh with her again. I know that heaven is a happier place with her in it. But, I and so many others will miss her forever. Like, so many times before we would hang up, I’ll end this with “I love you Chay!”

  14. Jan, I feel the same. I keep thinking, “Oh, man, Chay would think this is so ‘this,’ or ‘that.’ ” And I can’t call her to discuss it. The finality of her being gone is horrifyingly surreal. I’ll never make fun of Tennyson again for writing that long, long epic poem about Hallams.

  15. Likewise in Houston, at the service in Noel, it was good to hear the many good things (plus the comical “fairy story”) said about Chay. It was also good to see Chay’s family members again. The next time I go to Republic to visit my Mother, we plan to take the time to drive to Neosho and visit Charlcie Sr.
    On a personal note, I am departing for Paris this coming Friday. I know I will think of Chay so much because I will see things that she and I learned about in our art history classes at Drury. She was excited for me, when I told her I was going. I have never been to Europe (only Mexico), so I know I am going very far, far away. Please keep me in your prayers next week.
    God bless everyone.
    Au revoir (good bye)

  16. I love Paris!!!! Where are you staying? It is not that far. If you need friends there, let me know, I have them. AND, they would love you. So, let me know and I’ll contact my friend Tony or any of the others I have there, and they will show you around. Paris is like my second home. I wish I were going too!!!

  17. My girlfriend, Lisa, in Springfield is doing a house trade with a girl and her family (she used to go to Drury too). We really might get in touch w/ your friend Tony. Is Tony a F or M? French or ?
    Please let me know more.

  18. Brenda,

    What a beautiful tribute! I didn’t really know your sister, but I was very moved by the words of you and your family. Please give my best to your wonderful mother.

    Rocky Macy

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