Charlotte P. Des Jardins, Founder of Family Resource Center on Disabilities Passes Away at 92
With deep sorrow, we bid farewell to Charlotte P. DesJardins, a beacon of resilience, compassion, and advocacy, who peacefully passed away on September 7, 2023, in Chicago at the age of 92.
Charlotte’s life, rooted in humble beginnings in Joliet, Quebec, Canada, blossomed into an extraordinary tale of tenacity and dedication. As an undocumented child immigrant, she navigated the challenges of a single-parent household in Lewiston, Maine, financing her journalism degree through unwavering determination and hard work.
Upon graduation, armed with only $37.50, Charlotte embarked on a journey to Chicago, where she quickly found her place in the world of journalism. Her early skepticism of the city transformed into love, especially when she discovered the beauty of Lake Michigan.
A lifelong community activist, Charlotte’s voice echoed through the pages of the Hyde Park Herald, where she fearlessly advocated for progressive social issues. Her activism extended beyond print, as she volunteered tirelessly for local and national political campaigns. However, her most profound impact was felt in her advocacy for the rights of disabled children.
As the Founder and Executive Director of the Family Resource Center on Disabilities, Charlotte fought fervently to ensure educational services for children with disabilities. Her legacy includes organizing sit-ins at the Chicago Board of Education and authoring influential books on advocacy.
Retirement became a new chapter of exploration for Charlotte. She traversed the globe, shared her musical talents with the Golden Troubadours and Senior Chorus at the Chicago Cultural Center, brought joy through stand-up comedy, and remained a dedicated reader.
The celebration of Charlotte’s remarkable life will be on Saturday, November 18, 2023, from 12-2 at the Augustana Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall in Hyde Park. The public is welcome, and a meal will be served—a fitting tribute to a woman whose impact continues to resonate through the hearts and minds of all who knew her.