Agnes “Charlie” Girard
April 8, 1933 – July 19, 2020
Charlie, the mother of six, is survived by her living children Genevieve Wright of Brentwood, CA, Sharon Ferreira (Steve) of Tracy, CA, Edward Girard (Liu) Seattle, WA, and Jeannine Girard (Cheryl) of Oakley, CA; daughters in-law Penny Girard of Red Bluff, CA and Becky Herre-Girard of Racine, WI; and sister Lucinda “Cindy” Price (Phillip) of Chico, CA. Charlie also leaves behind 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Charlie was proceeded in death by her husband George, sons Richard Girard and Perry Girard, grandson Timothy Girard, great-grandson Dean Blasingame, sister Mary Ellen Alldredge, and parents Richard and Agnes Ring.
Charlie grew up in Lodi, CA. When she was 16 years-old Charlie was infected with the polio virus and would spend nearly a year hospitalized and undergoing painful treatments to recover from the effects of the disease. While she had some residual effects of polio, she did not let that dissuade her dream to become a nurse. Upon graduation from high school, she moved to San Francisco where she attended nursing school at Children’s Hospital of San Francisco and Training School. After earning her Registered Nurse diploma, she married George Girard in 1956. Charlie’s 30-year career as a nurse specializing in Critical Care and Emergency services, with her later years as a hospital nursing supervisor. Charlie and George moved their family often in the first ten years of their marriage, finally settling in Antioch permanently.
Charlie was an accomplished seamstress who made many of the clothes for herself and family. After retiring in 1987 she adopted quilting as a hobby, becoming an active member of the Northwinds Quilters Guild in Fairfield, CA. Among her many creations are individual quilts for each of her children representing their interests. While effects of post-polio syndrome later made it impossible for her to continue quilting, Charlie continued to keep her hands busy with crochet and knitting. Carrying on a tradition established by her mother crocheting and knitting hot pads and dishcloths for family. These are hands down the best!
Increasing mobility issues related to polio and complicated by injuries from a recent fall, it became necessary for Charlie to leave her independent living to a care facility. Charlie has lived in English Oaks in Modesto for the last 16 months. During this time English Oaks providers and support staff have provided exceptional care, both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. English Oaks has established a culture and environment that supports the medical, physical, emotional, and mental well-being of their residents.
Charlie thrived in this environment despite some of the physical challenges and surgery for colon cancer in 2019. Most recently Charlie was proud of having regained the ability to transfer to her chair without a lift. She maintained an incredibly positive perspective engaging in the social activities and making the best of every situation. Charlie established a social circle at English Oaks which became increasingly important to her when family and friends were no longer allowed to visit beginning in March. Charlie also served as president of the English Oaks Resident’s Committee. She also found great pleasure in bingo and proudly shared her wins and losses. The family extends their deep gratitude to English Oaks staff and residents for their loving care and friendship shared with Charlie.
Charlie passed unexpectedly from a heart attack after beginning her day, like any other, on Sunday. We are reminded how fleeting life can be and making something of everyday even if nothing more than a smile or simple kindness to another makes all the difference.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family has decided to postpone a more formal Celebration of Life with tentative plans to celebrate Charlie and her son, Perry, in May 2021.
Many thanks to all for the outpouring of love and support.