John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
On May 9, 1969, God blessed William and Ollie Welch with their precious first born child, Charisse, at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
At the age of ten, Charisse and her family moved to Queens, New York. Charisse was a caretaker, even as a child. While her parents were away, Charisse took excellent care of her younger siblings. She loved to cook comfort food for them and then watch scary movies (that their parents wouldn’t allow them to watch). Charisse was the ultimate prankster of the family. She was also an extraordinary role model for her younger brother and sister. She taught them countless etiquette lessons, in which she quizzed them thereafter. It was her mission to prepare them to become the perfect gentleman and young lady.
As a child, Charisse had a huge doll collection. She loved to admire their beauty they possessed. This led to her love of hair, make-up, nails, and fashion. Charisse woke up and walked out the door looking like a “10” every day. She took great pride in how she appeared in the world. As a young adult, visits to South Carolina were special to Charisse. Whenever it was time for her to travel back to New York, you would always find Charisse in the family prayer circle with tears streaming from her eyes. She held all of her family near and dear to her heart.
Charisse graduated in 1987 from Andrew Jackson High School. She was an avid viewer of the local/national news. This inspired her to pursue a degree in journalism at Brooklyn College. After college, Charisse took and passed the state correctional officer exam. After much discussion, her family convinced her that she wasn’t suited for this position because of her tender heart. Shortly after, she began working in the nursing field. However, because of her deep connection with others, it was difficult for her to separate from her patients. After moving to Raleigh, NC with her family, Charisse entered the hospitality and tourism industry. This field afforded her the opportunity to express her desire to help others without becoming too emotionally attached. She excelled in her career because she was able to do something she was passionate about. Charisse was employed by Marriott International, Inc. for the past 20 years up, until her passing.
Charisse’s character is what made her shine brighter than any star. She never failed to compliment those she loved and strangers alike. Because of working in the hospitality industry, she had a deep sense of appreciation for others. Whenever anyone provided excellent service for her, she wouldn’t leave the establishment without notifying management of the care she was given and praising the employee. She never missed an opportunity to commend others and made everyone feel important. She would share the accomplishments of her family members with co-workers and friends because she was truly happy to see her family excel.
Charisse accepted the Lord as her savior and walked in her ministry of serving and loving daily. She prayed for others and believed wholeheartedly in what she prayed for. God blessed her with the ability to see the good in others, even when everyone else failed to see it. She was an awesome counselor that shared sound, objective advice. Many found comfort in confiding in her, because she was unbiased and used discretion. Charisse gave to others as if she had an endless supply of resources.
The warmth of her hugs, kisses, love, and mere presence is her eternal testimony. The love she embodied was larger than life and everyone that came in contact with her experienced the genuine love that God has implored us to have for one another. Her family, community, and the world was blessed to experience this servant’s heart.
She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Johny and Ruth Welch; maternal grandparents, Isaac and Lillie Heyward. In addition, her Godmother, Evangelist Carolyn Jamison.
Charisse’s priceless teachings, unconditional love, and affectionate memories will continue to flourish in the lives of: her loving and adored parents, William and Ollie Welch; her protective and steadfast brother, William Welch, Jr. of Alexandria,VA ; her loyal and supportive sister, Janelle W. Johnson of Wilmington, NC; her nephew, the apple of her eye, Mason Johnson of Wilmington, NC; Aunts: Ann Welch, Mary Welch, Sheldine Williams all of Queens, NY, Lula Bell (Anthony) Wright of Garland, TX, Evangelist Debra (Michael) Scott, and Christine James of Varnville, SC; Uncles: John (Mary) Welch of Durham, NC, Harry (Sheena) Heyward of Marietta, GA, Daniel Heyward, Isaac Heyward, Jr., Nathaniel Heyward, Bishop David (Debra Ann) Heyward all of Varnville, SC, Jeroy Jamison, Sr. of Islandton, SC; Godparents, Charles and Pauline Singletary; special sister-cousin, Kimberly Gordon; special sister-friends, Aisha Cheek and Stephanie Terry; and a host of loving cousins and friends.
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