Charlene Nation, aged 83, passed away with her family by her side on Monday, April 3, 2023, at Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne.
Born as Charlene Louise Searl to parents, Tom, and Bernice Searl on November 15, 1939, at Memorial Hospital in Cheyenne, she was raised in a loving household, receiving a baby brother on her fourth birthday, much to her delight. Throughout her education, from Fincher Elementary School, McCormick Junior High School, St. Mary’s High School, Cheyenne High School, and later at Colorado Women’s College, Charlene was always a personable and popular girl, enjoying the gift of friendship with classmates and others.
She married her husband, Russell Sullivan Jr. of Boston in Cheyenne in February 1960 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. They met at Warren AFB where he was head of personnel of RCA, and she worked as a secretary. She soon welcomed her son, Russell Sullivan III, and daughter, Kimberly Sullivan, and cherished motherhood throughout her life. Although their marriage didn’t last, she married two additional times, including to Bill Nation of Cheyenne, our city’s mayor at the time. Although she lived in Colorado, New Jersey, and California for periods of her earlier life, Cheyenne remained her true home.
Charlene was a proficient secretary, making her a valued employee at law firms, the State of Wyoming, Tom Searl Realty and was a founding secretary to the President of Laramie County Community College upon it’s inception in 1969. She also received her Real Estate license and agricultural surveying and appraisal credentials during her career, while always enjoying her cooking and hosting duties for friends and family. Upon her retirement from the State of Wyoming Retirement Division, she cared for her mother in her later years, then moved into her parents’ home upon her mother’s passing, where she continued to live, enjoying the companionship of her daughter, Kim, who had resided with her for the last nine years. Her true passions were her children and friends, but she did enjoy dancing, singing, and trips, whether it be to a rural setting for a family reunion, the flashing lights of a Las Vegas casino, the Pacific Northwest, or aboard the QE2 bound for the United Kingdom.
Charlene is survived by her son, Russell, of Aurora, CO, daughter, Kim, of Cheyenne and “second son,” Octavio, of Aurora, CO, in additional to numerous cousins and cherished friends throughout the country. She greatly loved her pets throughout her life as well, leaving behind her two beloved dogs, Cooper, and Maggie. She was predeceased by her brother, Richard “Dick” Searl, parents Senator Tom and Bernice Searl and too many dear friends and family. She is now overjoyed with the reality of spending eternity surrounded by God’s love and the love of those she has mourned.
It was Charlene’s wish to be cremated and interred with her parents and brother and did not wish to have a service. Those who wish, may take a moment to remember her by donating to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.