Charmian Ruth Blattner passed peacefully in the early morning hours of September 9, 2010, at the age of 90, dying in Ukiah not far from where she was born on April 5th, 1920.
The youngest of the four children born to Frank and Goldie Ward, Charmian lived all her life in Mendocino County, and mostly in the Anderson Valley where her parents owned the ranch west of Philo now a resort called the Highland Ranch.
As a young woman, Charmian explored her entrepreneurial talent as an owner of a bus company which offered service from Fort Bragg to points south in the 1940s.
Later, as Mrs. Blattner, Charmian opened her popular and still fondly remembered Style Shop in Philo where shoppers could find everything from hosiery to clothing to greeting cards.
After years of teaching on provisional credentials, and presiding over the Head Start Program in the early 1970s, Charmian, in 1973, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Antioch College's University Without Walls. Even after retiring from the Mendocino County school systems she continued her work as a teacher, volunteering in classrooms at the Unicorn Youth Ranch.
A long time columnist for the Anderson Valley Advertiser, readers could learn of Valley comings and goings and the comic adventures of 'Himself,' Charmian's husband, Smokey Blattner.
It doesn't seem to be widely known, but Charmian was the longest-running columnist in The Redwood Empire. She contributed to the old Santa Rosa Press Democrat and other local publications from the early 1940's on, beginning her widely read work in the Advertiser when that weekly paper began publishing in 1955. A selection of Charmian's poetry can be found on-line at www.silentwords.com. She was an artist, a fine singer and piano player, a teacher, and a story teller, Charmian was also known for her unfailingly cheerful disposition. She left her indelible mark on the Anderson Valley community and all who knew her.
Charmian. Blattner was predeceased by her husband, Simon “Smokey” Blattner, her son Jerry Blattner and her granddaughter, Jennifer Blattner. She is survived by her children, Ernest Blattner of Ukiah and Betty Hoppes of Alamogordo, New Mexico, daughter-in-law Barbara Tucker Blattner of Philo, and many grandchildren, great-grand children and many nieces and nephews. A memorial was held on Tuesday, September 14th at the Boonville Community Methodist Church, followed by a graveside service at the Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in Charmian's memory to Hospice of Ukiah, Inc. or the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org).