Cover photo for Charlette E. Eggenberg's Obituary
Charlette

Charlette E. Eggenberg

d. May 5, 2024

Bakersfield


Charlette Eggenberg (better known as “Gram”), 76 years old, passed away on May 5, 2024. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Boulet, mother Theresa Boulet, and son, Shane. She is survived by her beloved husband Bill Eggenberg, sister (and greatest confidant/cheerleader) Dottie, brother Chuck, and sister Georgia who she met later in life, two daughters, Michelle (her favorite oldest) and Sheila (her favorite youngest), as well as seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


For those who knew Charlette, they would all agree that the woman could out-stage anyone when it came to two things, cooking and playing the piano. Charlette was born and raised in Crawly, Louisiana where she learned family recipes for Cajun staple dishes, including her revered gumbo, jambalaya, and cabbage rolls. Charlette had the gift of improvisation and knowing how to combine flavors for what was ultimately a delicious meal for her family and friends. 


Charlette was born into a musical family, her father played the accordion and piano, her mother sang, and her brother plays the harmonica and guitar. At an early age Charlette was able to sit at the piano keys, listen to a rhythm or melody, and mimic it. Charlette was blessed with a rich and soulful voice that brought a certain soulful southern charm to each piece. Later, this talent turned into the ability to create her own music while intertwining some of the classics she grew up around in the church. So long as there was a piano near, holidays, birthdays, and any celebration would almost inevitably lead to Charlette at the keyboard, singing and gathering an audience. 


Given her musical background and talent, its no wonder she meet her husband of 58 years at one of his gigs where he played bass in his band, the Termites. Later, Charlette and Bill would travel around performing at clubs and eventually played in their church as worship leaders. They formed a band, known as the “Word of Faith Singers,” where they would minister in the California prison system and in various local churches. Later, they would traveled with Jerry Savelle. 

 

After starting their family in Oklahoma, they settled in Bakersfield, California in 1973 to raise their three children. Charlette stayed home with the children during the early years while continuing to lead praise and worship at their church. Each of their children were blessed with   musical talents, Michelle and Sheila would sing while Shane played the drums and sang. One of Charlette’s favorite traditions was to bring each child and later grandchild to church shortly after their birth, introducing each as her greatest accomplishment yet. Charlette and Bill loved the movies and would coordinate movie nights at Crest drive-in with their children and later grandchildren where Charlette would pre-make popcorn (with Raisinets on the side of course), hotdogs, and Pepsi.    


Once the children were in school, she worked at the Bakersfield Californian Newspaper and eventually in the California prison system. Charlette was a people person through and through, always up for a chat while keeping busy at work. Charlette had an eye for things that sparkled. She firmly believed a woman should be more than presentable, preferably draped in bling, with hair and nails done beautifully. She instilled the importance of taking time for yourself and being presentable to her daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters. She had a direct hand in raising strong willed women, each of whom are thankful for this gift. While making sure each daughter and granddaughter understood the importance of having an opinion and being strong, she also cherished each moment with her son and grandsons, fostering their musical talents and doting on each with food. 


Her family will miss Charlette’s adventurous spirit, giving nature, and her infamous Christmas Burritos.


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