Charlene Baldwin: August 29, 1945 – March 27, 2024

Charlene Baldwin, our mother, grandmother, teacher, and eternal encourager, passed away peacefully on March 27, 2024, in her home in Langley, Washington, at 78 years old.

Born August 29, 1945, in Clinton, Washington, to William Joseph Chambers and Olive Irene “Arlene” Chambers, followed by her siblings, Carole, Joe, and Marietta. Charlene lived most of her life in the “cabin in the woods” built over many years by her husband Owen.

Charlene graduated from Langley High School in 1963 and Whitman College in 1967. She married Owen at Langley Methodist Church on February 1, 1967. Assigned together to Saipan in the Peace Corps, they served as teachers until 1969. Her first son, Ted, was born on Saipan in 1969.

Charlene next taught at George Washington Carver Middle School in Los Angeles, supporting Owen as he attended UCLA Law School. Her second son, Toby, was born in Denver in 1972.

Charlene moved home to Whidbey in 1974. After buying property on the south end, Charlene taught as they lived in a cabin with no running water or electricity, while Owen logged and built their home.

Accepting an invitation to church in 1975, Charlene was gloriously saved, finding community with those who call Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. Her daughter, Hope, was born at home in 1977.

Filled with the Spirit, Charlene dove into teaching, leading, praying with, and loving the Body of Christ, until the day of her passing. She served in many ways, including pastor’s wife at House of Prayer, teacher at Lighthouse Christian School, speaker at women’s gatherings, and at Copper Island Wilderness Camp. Her third son, Serawit, joined the family in 1991.

After 20+ years of faithful service at House of Prayer, Charlene and Owen joined Serawit in Ethiopia, in 2006. Charlene taught English, mentored church leaders at Eden Genet Church, led bible studies, volunteered at AHOPE, an orphanage for HIV+ children, and collaborated with a local journalist to write Orphan’s Song: Heartbreak and Hope in Ethiopia.

Returning in 2014, Charlene was overjoyed to be on the same continent as her grandkids. Finding meaning until the end, Charlene was an active member of South Whidbey Assembly of God and traveled to Israel and Palestine, back to Ethiopia, and to visit her kids and grandkids, just in the last two years.

Charlene loved flowers, a proper cup of tea, welcoming people into her home, and making words and voices sing. With patience and prayer, she watched her family grow, while cultivating relationships along the way – even with those she met for only a few minutes.

Charlene is survived by children, Ted and Katy of Bremerton, WA, Toby and Laura of Boise Idaho, Serawit and Azeb of Freeland, WA, and Hope and Chad of Corvallis, OR; her grandchildren Dodi, Emily, Milo, Mercy, Connal, Ellery, and August; sisters Carole and Marietta; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members, and loved ones around the world. She was preceded in death by her husband, Owen, and her brother, Joe.

To honor her, gifts to Eden Genet Church can be sent by check to New Community Church in Tacoma, WA, at 3102 S. 23rd St., Tacoma, WA 98405, noted with “Eden Genet.”

A Memorial Service will be at 2 PM on May 4, 2024, at South Whidbey Assembly of God, and live streamed.