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Charlene Katharine Soleau
  • Memorial donations are welcomed to:
  • Defeat MSA
    29924 Jefferson Avenue
    St. Clair Shores, MI 48082

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Memories & Candles

“I'm so happy I had the chance to meet you! I wish you would have been here longer, you were amazing. ”
1 of 10 | Posted by: Kimberly Knight - Dearborn, MI

“Your candle burned out long before, your legend ever did.. I will miss you my dear friend. Mike Galinis ”
2 of 10 | Posted by: Mike Galinis - Ypsilanti, MI

Charlene and I at an MSA fundraiser “On behalf of my family and I, we'd like to send our condolences to Charlene's family, we all loved and admired her very much. She was such an...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Joe Lebovic - Birmingham, MI

“What a remarkable person Charlene was! I served with her on the Board of the Michigan Chapter of HDSA. She was one of the most perceptive and...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: David Reusser - Detroit, MI

“Charlene was a Provider for my brother James Diegel for many years. Jim is mentally challenged and needed help with banking, groceries, doctor...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Mike Diegel - Commerce, MI

“As you remember your love one,may our Father the God of peace give you comfort and peace in every way today,tomorrow and always. 2Thessalonians 3:16 ”
6 of 10 | Posted by: A friend

“She had such a great laugh and amazing energy. She was a remarkable woman. Our deepest condolences and love to the family. We are so sorry for your...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Bob & Pat Brisson - Oxford, MI

“I am very sorry for your loss. We give our sincere condolences. May you all have much peace and comfort from the God of love during this difficult...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: 2 Corinthians 1:4

“Blessed those who mourn for they shall be comforted, Matthew 5:4. I am sorry for your loss. Sincere condolences B.Mitchell ”
9 of 10 | Posted by: A friend

“As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. ”
10 of 10 | Posted by: Heather


Charlene Katharine Soleau, age 71, died Saturday, February 17, 2018. Charlene was born December 17, 1946 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada to the late Charles Reynold Hurley and the late Anne Elizabeth (nee: Ball) Hurley.

Hailing from the province of New Brunswick, Canada, it was in 1954 that Charlene and her family made their way to America and chose Detroit as their new home. She was a young 8 years old at the time. As the school years called, Charlene was a proud and devoted student at St. Benedict's Catholic School in Highland Park. At 18 years old, not long after graduating, she entered into marriage and began building upon the joys of family by welcoming into the world three beautiful children, John, Kim, and Brian.

Charlene was immersed in her passion of caring for others, especially when it came to God's precious angels in need of special & sensitive care through the fostering system. It wouldn't be long before Charlene answered the call within her heart to become a Foster Mom herself. Over the years, Charlene welcomed several foster kids into her home and did her best to help make a difference in their lives. Among the many souls who made their way through her doors, there were two that captured Charlene's heart and ultimately became part of her family when she decided to adopt them. The new members, Craig & Denise, brought immense joy into her home and provided a sense of giving unlike any other she had known before. And "giving" would eventually become quite the understated term when Denise was diagnosed with Huntingtons Disease. It was a newfound path that Charlene journeyed with Denise until her passing at the young age of 17 years old. Along the way, Charlene learned a great deal about the illness and sought ways to help educate others with the knowledge she had gained. Within this chapter of her life, Charlene also enrolled at Marygrove College where her goal was to attain credentials as a social worker. But sadly she was unable to complete her courses due to the immense responsibilities required in caring for Denise.

Another important mention in Charlene's outreach to the infirm and needy came through the assistance she rendered as a staff member the Tender Care Nursing Home. Along with tending to the specifics of her job, Charlene also utilized the venue for spreading awareness and sharing the guidelines regarding the battle with Huntington's Disease. Charlene's next outreach involved a bit of the entrepreneurial spirit that lie within when she began her own venture, "Esteem Unlimited,"…an independent living facility for those challenged with disabilities, offering them an alternative beyond the more institutionalized system. She actually opened two of these facilities and made a difference in many lives through her unique and caring ways. The passion she held for her clients never wavered.

And if Charlene hadn't already experienced more and given more than the average human being, life threw her a curve ball when she was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Yet another illness for her to wrap her heart and mind around, she was like the Eveready Bunny as she stayed the course and fought with all she had,…and yes, she learned a great deal along the way. Equipped with knowledge and possessing all the right stuff towards leadership, Charlene decided to help fight MSA by becoming a board member and influencing the community with the hope she brought to the table. Taking the lead in the various fund raising events for the organization, as well as being an integral part of forming a local support group for those with MSA, Charlene was quite the mover & shaker when it came to her illness and the battles she shared with many others.

Yet the MSA was just one of the organizations she chose to serve at the board level. Reflecting upon the time she spent with daughter Denise and her battle with Huntington's Disease, Charlene was honored to serve on the Board of Director's for the Huntington's Society,…a position she held until 2016, just 2 years before her death.

Charlene's life was surrounded by a considerable amount of challenges, either with those she faced or with the many others she took under her wing. Yet she never complained or lost sight of her passions, nor the desire within to make a difference. Yet life would often cry out for her to step away and enjoy some of the other passions in life,…like her love of nature and the many animals that fit into that realm. She loved cats, dogs, flying squirrels, and the occasional deer she would espy running through the park in the evenings,…as she took in one of her other great passions, the beauty of a sunset. She also found great enjoyment in traveling, primarily by automobile. Hopping in the car and heading out to places either known or foreign, Charlene simply loved eating up the scenery and building upon her portfolio of destinations visited. From time to time, this would involve getting lost. But where many might panic or get worked up, Charlene just took a breath and considered it, yet, another adventure in life.

But of all that she treasured and held dearest in life, nothing could hold a candle to family and the myriad joys shared in their company. From her children, to the grandchildren, and yes…her precious great-grandchildren, Charlene was blessed with a quiver full of love and the many memories they made together. She leaves behind an incredible legacy of serving others, caring for the needy, and going the extra mile to put others concerns before her own. Though she was humble in her ways, Charlene's outreaches were like those of a saint. She touched a multitude of hearts and souls in her journey through life and leaves an imprint that will stand alone. She will be missed immensely.

Charlene was the loving mother of John Albert Lazar, Jr., Kimberly Ann (John) DiMeglio, Brian David Lazar, and the late

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