Charlotte Carbonneau Jernigan March 24th, 1924 - February 16th, 2013
"Classical Music is the Glorification of all that is Beautiful" is a quote by Charlotte Jernigan who lived by these words everyday of her life. Charlotte was a classical music aficionado. Her talents extended from being a Classical Pianist to a Coloratura Soprano to Cathedral Pipe Organist. Born in 1924 in Augusta Maine, Charlotte moved to Montreal Canada at age 4. Charlotte was a musical prodigy and began playing the Piano early. At age 7, she discovered Classical music. Even before formal lessons, she could play by ear with the 'left hand right hand' coming to her with ease. The Piano was her friend indeed. In 1941 at 17 yrs old she performed her first 4 Piano 16 hands with such fervor and passion, her teachers were always crossing their fingers that she would not finish too soon! That same year she performed without music, Hungarian Rhapsody #2 which was 22 pages. In 1944 Charlotte had her first opportunity to sing in the Chorus an Aria from the Opera Faust in Montreal. She holds a degree in Music, and played the Pipe Organ at the Sacred Heart Church in Toronto for 4 years. In 1953 as a nun candidate in a convent, Charlotte left before taking her final vows. Her soul was always too free as she states, "Music is reality and reality is music, they cannot be separated". She was sent to Mobile Al in 1954 to work at St Martin de Porres Hospital. It was there where she met her husband Robert (Buddy) Jernigan. She soon became the mother to 5 wonderful children. Charlotte continued her passion for music and the arts and became an award winning actress in Mobile. She performed for over 12 years with The Mobile Theater Guild, and The Entertainer. Some of her Mobile Theatre Guild performances include The Good doctor, Half a Sixpence, A Man For All Seasons, Damn Yankees, Zorba the Greek, Oliver, and Gigi. For her roles in MTG's Harvey and Gigi,
Charlotte earned Best Supporting Actress honors. She made her Entertainer debut as Lady Thiang in The King and I, for which she received a standing ovation. She then returned to perform in Guys and Dolls, Funny Girl, Harvey, Annie, Exit the Body, and Bell Book and Candle. But she did not stop there. Charlotte was active in the Opera Guild where she sang Soprano in the Opera La Boheme. Her local involvement also included the Schumann Club, Mobile Piano Ensemble and the International Mobile Festival. For 18 years, she faithfully volunteered at the Mulherin Home where every Tuesday she was a constant presence. With her love for Classical music, Charlotte became involved in the radio station WHIL where she volunteered her time and DJ'd one afternoon per week. She was asked to be a guest on the program "Playing Favorites" where Charlotte was able to express and choose her favorite classical pieces based on her own experiences with the music. Which led to this quote, "Hope and Resignation is a pair that walk side by side ever since we are born until the time we die" Charlotte served as an organist for over 42 years. She was the school Secretary for St Dominic's School, Summer School Catechism Teacher at St Dominic's Church, Primary Organist for St Dominic's Church for a decade, and Organist for St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Her love and talents for the arts continued on with her skills as an artist. She was amazingly talented with oils and watercolors, as her household paintings reflected. Her zest for life and love of nature, botanicals, birds, flowers was unsurpassed. Her most recent accomplishment was being crowned Ms Gordon Oaks in 2006 Charlotte passed away peacefully on February 16th,2013 in her home. She cheerily waited for the good Lord to take her. She is preceded in death by her husband Robert Aubrey (Buddy)Jernigan Jr. Her daughter Michelle Jernigan Kersten. Left behind to cherish the memories are her children, Jay Jernigan (Beth), Kelly Jernigan (Mary) Rachel Jernigan Mclarty (Tim), and Sam Jernigan (Sheila). Her Grandchildren, Matthew Solomon (Elise), Shannon Cowart, Sarah Jernigan, Evan Jernigan, Nicholas Kersten, and Nathan Kersten. Charlotte was a participant in the 'Gift of Body' program at USA Medical Center. Her selfless act will help many Medical Students become better prepared in obtaining their MD. Her wishes were that no funeral or memorial would be held but asked that in the old Irish tradition "have a toast to her". In lieu of flowers donations to her favorite charity St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 will be greatly appreciated.
Published on Feb 22, 2013