There’s a Kind of a Hush, Sweet Charlotte
by Cate Murway
Charlotte Landreth- Melville [6.25.22- 1.3.13]
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Quotation commonly attributed to Quaker Stephen Grellet
A tribute to a friend… “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso
The lady wore New Balance, no regular shoes would do.
Those clothed for just show, apparently had no clue.
This dynamo of energy and spirit headed out the door
There are friends to meet, people to see, stuff to do and more.
Etched before her birth on her family stone mantle
dum vivimus, vivamus:
“Let us live while we live; i.e. Let us enjoy life”
She chatted of places she visited so far away
She could solve the world’s problems, end all the strife.
She served regal healthy dinners while conversations blazed.
Satisfied curiosities, by nothing were she fazed.
We shared secrets and dined on salmon,
during the winter, spring, summer and fall.
We watched the Delaware River flow its course.
Charlotte really had it all.
The town was her heart, the town was her home
But Landreth generations have always made footprints
So Charlotte continued to roam.
Long walks kept her healthy and wise
The knowledge of ages lived through her eyes
They smiled; they twinkled, always knowing,
She was ready for life, always growing.
The borough is full of history
She knew everyone by name
Happily filled in all the mystery
It will never be the same.
So, start a conversation, make a new friend
Take a trip to a brand new place
And the life Charlotte willingly shared, won’t end.
This one’s for you, buddy…..
I will miss you, my friend.
On Charlotte’s facebook page....
“Goodbye all my friends far and wide. It has been a wonderful 90 years on this planet. Time for a new adventure to parts unknown. Live life to the fullest!”
“Goodbye to one of the most incredible human beings I ever met. You will always be an inspiration to me. Just one more interesting journey for you Char. Semper Fi.” Bob Kellagher
“Goodbye, dear friend! After all those Marine Corps Birthday Balls in China, Europe, etc, your next will be in "heaven's scenes" and I am sure you will dance with the Marines guarding those heavenly streets! Semper Fi! Oorah!”
Barbara Crispell Cockrell
“Thank you, Charlotte for the memories, your inimitable spirit, your joy for life, your lovely daughters. You will be missed here on earth.” Carol Robidoux
“Rest in peace dear friend.” Kathy DiBlassio
“What a beautiful homegoing service for Charlotte Melville. She has got to be celebrating in Heaven...rest well my friend. :)” Demetria J. Bailey
“It is with great sadness in our hearts that we say goodbye to Charlotte Melville of Bristol. Charlotte was an incredible woman who led a life so full of adventure she could exhaust even a toddler. She was a descendant of the Landreth family whose legacy has long been a part of Bristol's heritage that the Mazzocchi family has come to respect. The old farm house and main family residence to the Mazzocchis once belonged to Landreth. Charlotte loved to visit her family's past and could spend hours poring over archived pieces of history she had made a lifetime out of collecting. Her family's history is stamped all over our town and if you've ever talked with her, I'm sure you see those secreted little places hidden among Bristol's history. Charlotte was a great friend to us and she will be missed. Charlotte was a woman of great knowledge. Her memory at times seemed endless. And her spirit for adventure and living life to the fullest was something to admire. Rest in peace, dear friend, and thank you for sharing your time here with us.”
Bernard Mazzocchi, Canal Works
“Charlotte Melville will be missed by the entire community of Bristol Borough.” Karen Dopson
“She was wild and crazy and I loved her.” Rose Marie Nemeth
“Dear Charlotte, You were an amazing woman and an inspiration to so many people, including myself. I will miss reading your emails and FB posts telling of your exotic and exciting adventures, and your smiling face at the theatre. The world would be a much better place if there were more "Charlottes" in it!! Rest in peace, dear friend!” Sharon Alexander
“RIP Charlotte Melville, for 90 years you showed others how life was meant to be lived. Semper Fi!” Bob Kellagher
“Charlotte Melville we should all feel privileged to have met you. You will be missed! You are the embodiment of what living a life to the fullest and no fear is. You wasted not one second!” Penny Bottomstone Gesualdi
“I absolutely loved her. She was an inspiration. She was my idol. My father said, ‘Charlotte you bring us the world’.’’
“We have lost a great, enlightened ally in the conservative mode. The beautiful Doane Academy chapel was filled to the brim today with friends of Charlotte Melville, all of us sad that she has gone on her last voyage and her last patrol. I feel extremely fortunate to have known her.” Gail Miller
“So in a word, don’t shed a tear
I’ll be here when it all gets weird.” from “if I ever leave this world alive”
from Charlotte's daughter, Ann Melville
"Charlotte was cremated. Part of her will be buried this summer when we erect a stone in St James Churchyard with her Landreth family/relatives, part of her will remain in her house in Bristol, and the rest will be carried by her daughters to the the four corners of the earth. We will spread a little part of Charlotte to all the countries we visit in the future, so she will continue to travel the globe!"
from The Gazette February 2010
Landreth CEO Will Present March Program
Landreth Seed Company, once one of the most important industries in Bristol, is now located at New Freedom, Pennsylvania. Barbara Melera is the CEO of the company. She will be present at B.C.H.F. on Sunday, March 21 to provide a program about her business.
Landreth Seed Company was founded in 1784 at 12th and Market Sts., in Philadelphia and moved to Bristol in 1847.
It remained here and the family was a very important part of the business and social life of the community. Many of the family were interred in St. James Episcopal Church Cemetery at Walnut and Cedar Sts. and their grave stones can be seen there.
Charlotte Landreth Melville of Bristol is the last surviving member of the family still living in Bristol.
Most of our membership knows Charlotte for her “world travel” experiences and she has presented a variety of programs to us in the past about her travels.
Her father and mother once lived in a home on Radcliffe Street where St. Mark School is presently located and other members of the Landreth family occupied homes in several locations in Bristol.
The seed farm, which also contained several mansions in which family members lived, is presently occupied by the section of Bristol Township along Green Lane and Radcliffe St. known as Landreth Manor. The mansion homes have been removed but a number of the “old trees” on the farm remain in the neighborhood.
Some of Bristol’s older citizens will recall the baseball field, called Landreth Field, located where the present Pennco Tech School stands on Otter Street.
Charlotte’s father was an avid baseball fan and promoter. Old photographs show David Landreth sitting with the baseball teams he sponsored.
Bristol Pilot > News
Prominent Bristol resident Charlotte Landreth Melville dies unexpectedly,
many shocked by her sudden passing
Thursday, January 3, 2013
By Elizabeth Fisher
BRISTOL TOWNSHIP - Charlotte Landreth Melville, a prominent Bristol Township resident, died on Thursday. She was 90.
Her death came as a shock to many who knew her because, until she suffered a stroke last week, Melville remained an energetic force in the Bristol area and had just weeks ago, returned from a visit to family in Budapest. The morning after her return, she breakfasted at the Radcliffe Café, saying that she couldn’t sleep late because she had so many errands to run.
“I just have to get moving,” she said.
And, move she did. On Bristol Day, Oct. 20, an acquaintance saw her leaving one of the homes on the history tour and remarked, “I hope that when I’m her age, I can walk like that.”
Herta Mackay, of Bristol, said she’d been friends with Melville for more than 50 years, and walked with her just about every morning.
“She had unbelievable energy. I always thought she could run around me 100 times. I have lost someone who was a wonderful friend,” Mackay said.
Melville was also active in Bristol’s history, lending items, such as Civil War-era diaries, letters, and swords from her family’s Civil War collection to the Grundy Library or to the Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation for its Historic Bristol Day exhibits.
Bristol Historian Harold Michener said that the library “would always be indebted to her,” for her contributions of time and material about the town’s history. Michener and his wife Carol were among the 150 guests who attended Melville’s 90th birthday party in July.
Melville, an inveterate world traveler, also served in the military during war time, having enlisted in the marines in 1942. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune, where she worked for the Engineer Quartermaster’s office. Her marine dress uniform, which she still wore to special events, was on display in a recent World-War II exhibit at the Grundy Library.
She once told the story of her pre-service work on the draft board. A man asked why she was qualified for such a post, since, he said, there’d be no danger of her going to war.
“Little did I know that a few months later, I would enlist,” she recalled.
Included in her picture album was a photo of her with then-President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, taken at a military ball in China.
Melville was married for 25 years to her husband Bob. The couple had two children, Ann and Linda. Melville also has two grandsons.
She will be mourned by many in town, friends said.
“Bristolians are going to miss her and the borough is certainly going to cherish her memory,” said borough resident Helen Younglove.
Charlotte Landreth-Melville remembered as unique, energetic
By GEMA MARIA DUARTE and DANNY ADLER Staff writers | Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 5:30 am
A Bucks County gem has died.
Charlotte Landreth-Melville died Thursday at 2:53 a.m. in her Radcliffe Street home in Bristol Township. She was 90.
Melville, who was a U.S. Marine during World War II, died of complications from a Dec. 15 stroke.
With her were her two daughters, Linda and Ann Melville, and their husbands.
“She couldn’t speak to us, but we hope that she could hear us until the end,” Ann, 54, said as she choked up Thursday evening.
The morning of her stroke, Melville went on her usual 2-mile walk, Ann said.
“Until the end, she was real active,” she said. “She had amazing energy. I’m going to miss her energy. She was up for anything.”
She usually attended an annual Marine Ball. One of the traditions at the ball is to have the oldest Marine dance with the youngest. She was usually the oldest.
“She loved it,” Ann said, adding that her mother could still get into her military uniform.
“She was really something else,” Linda said. “People of all generations and backgrounds thought she was just amazing.”
Matt, Linda’s husband, said his mother-in-law had a “unique spirit that kept her from aging” and stayed with her until the end.
She was divorced from Bob Melville but the pair remained close friends, her daughter said. He called from his California home daily to check on her health after her stroke.
Her family is hosting a service from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Doane Academy, 350 Riverbank in Burlington. Melville attended the school when it was named St. Mary’s Hall.
Melville left a “party fund” in the event of her death, her family said. That celebration will be held in the summer at her home in Bristol. The family will announce the event date once it’s scheduled, they said.
Melville belonged to the family that started the D. Landreth Seed Co., which calls itself the “The Oldest Seed House in America,” in the late 18th century. The company started in Philadelphia and moved to the Bristol area, planting thousands of acres to produce seed for fruit, flowers, vegetables and grass. Her family operated it until the 1940s.
Melville was the last member of her family in the area. She was an energetic world traveler and World War II Marine Corps veteran who lived in a house on the Delaware River that her family built in 1915.
As a child, she played in the seed warehouse (now the Canal Works building), climbing with her friends on sacks stacked 20 feet high. She watched, fascinated, as workers packed seeds.
In 2012, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, R-8, congratulated her for turning 90 on June 25, according to the congressional record.
“During her 90 years, Charlotte has seen 16 U.S. presidents take the oath of office, has honorably served her country in World War II as a member of the Women Marines, has traveled the world, and has started her own small business. Charlotte has enjoyed quite a healthy, exciting life,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Over the course of her life, she has climbed to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked through the Sahara Desert, lived on a houseboat in India and bicycled all across Europe. One way or another, she still managed to find time to remain active in her local community as a contributor to the Bristol Pilot newspaper. Charlotte’s free spirit and dedication to her country and community make her a perfect role model in today’s society,” he said.
According to the Library of Congress American Folklife Center’s Veterans History Project, Melville served at Camp Lejeune, N.C., from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. She was in the Heavy Equipment Section, Engineer Quartermaster’s Office, and reached the rank of corporal.
She was a member of several local organizations including the Friendship Force of Southern New Jersey, Celtic Heritage Foundation, Bristol Cultural and Historic Foundation and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Lower Bucks County.
“She was legendary,” said Helen Younglove, a member of the Bristol Cultural and Historic Foundation. “She was a wealth of information.”
She was also a member of the U.S. Servas, a cultural exchange international group network composed of member hosts and travelers working to foster peace, goodwill and mutual respect and striving for personal interaction with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Melville attended the Jefferson Avenue School, St. Mary’s Hall — now Doane Academy in Burlington — and graduated from the Agnes Irwin School in Philadelphia in 1939.
Melville’s daughters said that their mother “was a breathtakingly social person” who loved to travel, which she wrote about for the Bristol Pilot.
Her many adventures included a nine-week trip to South America with her parents in 1935, a biking trip through Europe in 1954, a year-long round the world honeymoon in 1956, which included crossing the Sahara by truck.
She lived on a houseboat in Kashmir, India, drove her daughters around Europe for three months in 1968 and then backpacked with them through China in 1987 and again 20 years later at age 85 — with her grandsons in tow.
She visited more than 100 countries in her lifetime.
In the summer, Melville celebrated her 90th year by touring Europe with her family. On the her 90th birthday, she awoke in an artist town in the mountains of Croatia, drove to Venice for a quick gondola ride complete with champagne drunk from yogurt pots and spent the night camping on the Italian coast near Ravenna, her daughters said.
“(She) believed in living life to the fullest and did so until the end of her long and wonderful life,” Melville’s daughters wrote in her obituary. “She was a genuine source of wonder and inspiration to all who knew and loved her.”
Charlotte Cherishes her Nine Decades
by Cate Murway
“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” --Source unknown
The 1920’s era was dubbed with such monikers as the Jazz Age with greats Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin, Cole Porter and others; the Age of Intolerance, and the Age of Wonderful Nonsense. This era embodied the beginning of modern America and welcomed Charlotte Swift Landreth- Melville who is determined to travel it.
Walt Disney produced his first cartoon, “Alice’s Wonderland” and “travelchar” began her first steps toward making the world her own wonderland.
Charlotte is a graduate of The Agnes Irwin School ’40, founded by the great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin, and the Philadelphia School of Office Training.
She continues to trek around the world, one country at a time!
Charlotte is the last surviving member of the Landreth family still living in Bristol who owned The D. Landreth Seed Company, the fifth oldest corporation in America.
In 1784, Englishman David Landreth came to Philadelphia to found Landreth Nursery & Seed Gardens. He purchased a plot in what was then still country, building a family farmhouse and a seed house overlooking the farmlands that extended to the Schuylkill.
When Landreth moved his company to Bristol in 1847, he sold his property in the Point Breeze neighborhood to the city for use as a public elementary schoolhouse.
In 1864, the David Landreth Elementary School burned to the ground and it was rebuilt in 1889 as a two-story, three bay, brick building with a stone foundation in the Gothic Revival-style.
The Old City School now has a new mission- providing apartments for seniors, called The Landreth. Many tenants take pride in the fact that their building was the elementary school where John Wanamaker learned the three R's over 150 years ago.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Charlotte’s parents, Florence [Swift] and David Landreth V, the youngest son of Capt. Burnet Landreth, had 4 children including Charlotte, her late sisters, Meta Florence Landreth Doak and Emily Mostyn Landreth, and her brother, David Landreth VI who died at the age of 13. Her parents owned a Roadmaster Buick.
The family once resided in a home where St. Mark Elementary School now stands. Burgess Clifford L. Anderson, President of the Bristol Patent Leather Company and the Bristol Trust Company Bank, was their neighbor, living next to them at 1002 Radcliffe Street.
Bloomsdale, the Landreth family home, had one of the most amazing collections of trees in the United States. At one time, there were over 1200 species of deciduous [maple, birches] and evergreen trees, some of which are still living. The seed farm in Bristol Township contained several mansions in which family members lived, occupies the section along Green Lane and Radcliffe Streets known as Landreth Manor.
Many know Charlotte for her “world travel” experiences and some of Bristol’s seasoned citizens recall the Landreth Baseball Field, located where the present Pennco Tech School stands on Otter Street.
Charlotte’s father was an avid baseball fan and promoter and there are cherished old photographs of David Landreth sitting with the baseball teams he sponsored.
Cpl. Charlotte’s original forest-green serge Marine uniform along with her cap, and the picture taken the day she was discharged from Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Nov. 1945 was on display for Historic Bristol Day 2010. She served proudly with distinction and honor from 12/43 to 11/45.
By the way, she can still fit in her original uniform and is an active member of The Women Marines Association (WMA) and has been honored several times as the oldest Marine present at the US Marine Corps Ball, once in Beijing China in 2007.
In 1917, W. Averell Harriman once resided in the three-story white Landreth home in Bristol Township. Charlotte found a medicine bottle with a prescription written by a Dr. Lyle to the Boeddikker Pharmacy in NY with Harriman’s name on it. She communicated with Governor Harriman and received a return letter typed on Department of State stationery dated January 1968. He commented, “It was a beautiful home on the water and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I did. I am glad to hear that you bought it back.”
She met with the diplomat, entrepreneur, politician, and philanthropist, in Georgetown, Washington D.C. in 1981 and she proudly owns an autographed hardcover copy of his book that he co-authored with Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946.
To celebrate her 90th birthday, Charlotte’s daughters, Ann [husband, Jeff works at the Embassy] and Linda [husband, Matt works in New Mexico] planned a trip to Europe from June 9th-July 10th and then a party on July 13th when they returned from their trek that included grandsons, Isaac and Eli.
First, it was Budapest for a week where a highlight was the Riesenrad, the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel.
Next jaunt was to the Croatian Islands in the Adriatic Sea, traveling between the Islands by ferry. The main industries on the islands are agriculture, fishing and tourism.
“The beaches were stony.”
They carried camping equipment in their Dodge caravan and drove to Venice to spend the day. Can there be a more iconic experience of Venice than a ride in a gondola? She had been to Venice befire, but had never been on a gondola.
Friends had given Charlotte 100 Euros and they needed 80 Euros [approximately $115] for a 37-minute ride in the flat-bottomed boat. They shared wine in glass yogurt cups and enjoyed a little slice of heaven.
Charlotte lost her hat and the gondolier gallantly scooped it up for her.
A gentleman singing operettas sang an Italian song to her and she blushingly shared, “He gave me a hug and a kiss when I told him about my birthday.”
Pizza for lunch and then they toured a winery.
The next destination was Florence, Italy and they visited the Tower of Pisa.
The tower was completed in 1372, almost 200 years after it was begun, and it was leaning.
Next stop was Prague, the political, economic and cultural center of the Czech Republic.
In Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, they stayed in a youth hostel, an accommodation that was previously a real prison. “They actually still had the bars there.”
Nothing can restrain Charlotte.
She was back home on Tuesday, ready for her party on Saturday.
Mid-week day trips prevailed and she took her grandsons and her great-nephew to the NJ aquarium.
Friends that she hadn’t seen in quite some time, shared in her birthday festivities.
Chris Blaydon, the Mayor of Langhorne Borough and his wife, Mary attended.
Principal of James Buchanan School [1965-1972] Paul Joseph McCool brought Charlotte a bouquet of peach colored roses. He recalled that Charlotte’s daughters received a tremendous education with their family travels. “Charlotte is a great lady, a bottomless pit of valuable information. She is an adventuress, a well-traveled lady and she taught them well” He thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. “What a great collection of interesting people!”
There was plenty of food, music, a champagne toast and mega memories shared.
Charlotte commented, “I look forward to my trips. They keep me going.”
She walks 2 miles every morning and her diet consists of “lots of vegetables, salads, salmon and chicken and I take a lot of vitamins.”
Her favorite reads are biographies and autobiographies. She belongs to two book groups, the Margaret R. Grundy Library Book Club and another at her Unitarian Church.
A bestseller that she just finished is 1421: The Year China Discovered America, authored by Gavin Menzies, a former British Royal Navy officer.
Plays? “I especially enjoy the musicals at the BRT.”
She has sailed around South America, taken a train across China, stayed in a houseboat in Kashmir, India, hitchhiked over Western Europe and drove a jeep across the Sahara in the 1950’s, globetrotting the continents and climbing Kilimanjaro.
Charlotte starred in a film clip “What happened in Bristol” at about 16 years old but she is still at it, sailing to the winds, planning more adventures for her sequel “What happened EVERYWHERE”.
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations To Ms. Charlotte Landreth-Melville On Her 90Th Birthday 6.19.12
Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick
"Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish Ms. Charlotte Landreth-Melville, a resident of historic Bristol Borough in my home of Bucks County, Pennsylvania a Happy Birthday as she turns 90 on June 25th.
During her 90 years, Charlotte has seen sixteen U.S. presidents take the oath of office, has honorably served her country in World War II as a member of the Women Marines, has traveled the world, and has started her own small business. Charlotte has enjoyed quite a healthy, exciting life.
Over the course of her life, she has climbed to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked through the Sahara Desert, lived on a houseboat in India and bicycled all across Europe. One way or another, she still managed to find time to remain active in her local community as a contributor to the Bristol Pilot Newspaper.
Mr. Speaker, I am honored to speak on Charlotte's behalf today, and I wish her the very best on this momentous occasion. Charlotte's free spirit and dedication to her country and community make her a perfect role model in today's society. I wish her many more years of good health, success and happiness."
The Lady Wears New Balance
by Cate Murway
Energetic eighty-five -year-old Charlotte Swift Landreth-Melville is not about to take her retirement years sitting down. This octogenarian of slight build, lots of charm, appeal and attraction has a ton of skills and an extremely rich background and there is no wavering in her resolve to continue her adventures.
New Balance is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-performance footwear, truly focused on technology and innovation for every vigorous sole, including those of Landreth-Melville, The Agnes Irwin School ’40, Wynnewood [currently in Rosemont] founded by the great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin /Philadelphia School of Office Training. She is “tracking” her way through the world, one country at a time!
Corporal Charlotte, one of the “most senior” women Marines who served proudly with distinction and honor from 12/43 to 11/45, was stationed in Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, N.C working in the Engineer Quartermaster’s Office in the heavy equipment section. Who, by the way, can still fit in her original uniform, and is a member of The WMA.
Charlotte Landreth Melville Doane Academy ‘39, was honored as the oldest Marine present at the US Marine Corps Ball in Beijing China, November 2007.
The Women Marines Association, established in Denver, CO, in 1960, is a civilian non-profit veterans organization of American women who answered their country's call to serve, evolving but always retaining their proud traditions of honor, courage and commitment. Charlotte obviously enjoys encouraging and perpetuating old friendships and creating new ones through the mails and in attending their biennial national conventions. After her Marine’s hitch, she studied a year of Spanish at Berlitz Language Schools, now known as Berlitz International, Inc.
Her very diverse employment resume includes the former Kaiser Metal Products, Inc. that had bought up the Fleetwing Aircraft Company. When that property was sold, she continued her working career as secretary for the sales managers at the Keystone Lighting Corp., a manufacturer of commercial fluorescent fixtures, currently Columbia Lighting. She continued her administrative duties for Shelley M. Zeiger, the executive officer/owner of the Capitol Plaza, the businesslike 15-story building on Calhoun Street, Trenton that closed in 1986.
Charlotte even dabbled in entrepreneurship when she and a former neighbor, Ann Prairie operated a “Rent-a Governess” service for children, senior citizens or any family emergency. Another innovative venture, although not a profitable one, was hosting dinners at her home for singles.
David Vasquez hired her and she wrote “Traveling with Charlotte”, originally “Around the World” for the Bristol Pilot for 2 decades from 1984 to 2004 allowing the reader to savor the delight of living vicariously through her trip journals.
A 9-week family trip in 1935 when she was just 13 years old included all meals [even the langusta or lobster-like crawfish], hotels and a guide at each stop. Everything for all 5 people cost $5,000. She learned then an effective treatment for nausea caused by seasickness, as an Aunt kept her well stocked with very strong ginger candy.
When asked how she keeps all her energy, Charlotte quipped, “Well I get tired sometimes. I take a nap when I get around to it!” She still walks three miles every day! Her supplement intake includes calcium, magnesium and vitamin E and sublingual B-12. Charlotte eats a lot of vegetables but she does eat meat and chicken and fish; not a lot of carbs. No anchovies and no coffee or tea, “My kids tell me I’m hyper enough!”
She enjoys “the old fashioned, nice music where you can sing along with it and understand the words.” Her preferred colors are earth tones.
Charlotte is spontaneous, bold, lives for today; a carefree philosopher with an enviable imagination that provides meaning to experiences and understanding to her accrued knowledge. She just “loves adventure” and “feels more alive when traveling”.
dum vivimus, vivamus:
“Let us live while we live; i.e. Let us enjoy life” is etched into her fireplace mantle.
A vast opportunity of experiences has enriched her life. She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in all of Africa, crossed the Sahara, technically the world's second largest desert after Antarctica with one of the harshest climates in the world, bicycled through Europe, a cheap and rewarding tour, lived on a houseboat in India and has spent a cool and refreshing and relaxing night on a faluka [small sailing boat].
The Radcliffe Street resident was married to aircraft engineer Robert Louis [Bob] Melville from1955 until 1981 and they have two daughters, resident of China, Ann Swift Melville Smith, H.S. Truman ‘77/BCCC/ U. of Cal, Santa Cruz [husband works in the Embassy], and Linda Landreth Melville Glickman, St. Mary’s Hall ‘80/U. of Cal, Santa Cruz. Their two grandsons are Eli and Isaac. Her parents, Florence [Swift] and David Landreth V had 4 children including Charlotte, Meta Florence Landreth Doak, and the late Emily Mostyn Landreth and David Landreth VI who died at the age of 13.
Bloomsdale, the Landreth family home, had the most amazing collection of trees in the United States – only Judge Field of Princeton and the Sargent family of Boston was in the same class. At one time, there were over 1200 species of deciduous [maple, birches] and evergreen trees, some of which are still living.
The D. Landreth Seed Company is the fifth oldest corporation in America. Among its many historic claims is the fact that the company sold seed to every American president from George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Landreth story is the story of an American family business that was born near the time of America’s birth and grew with America over three centuries.
“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” --Source unknown
To recommend a Bristol Borough Character to be spotlighted:
American Heritage Dictionary
1. Moral or ethical strength.
2. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities
daughter, Ann & President Bush
The Agnes Irwin School June ’40
Congressional hopeful Mike Fitzpatrick and Charlotte at the Washington Crossing Foundation's "Washington's Birthday" celebration at Shadyside Mansion February 2010
1987- Charlotte in Xinjiang, China w/ a translator
from left: Alice Carnett, Charlotte's sister, Meta Landreth Doak, Ralph Fitzpatrick, Bert Carnett, Emily Landreth Carnett,
Isabelle Moberly Ferrer, Charlotte Landreth Melville
Charlotte on her 90th birthday Gondola ride w/ her daughters and her grandsons
237th Marine Corps Ball 11.17.12
Oldest Marine, Charlotte age 90
youngest Marine, Andrew, age 20
in Budapest, Hungary.
Official "good bye" to Charlotte today, 13. 7.06 at 11:30 a.m at the St. James churchyard.
......even a gun salute.
Charlotte would have loved it!
i left a pink rose with lace and pearls.
wanted to make sure she knew that it was from me.
never brought her flowers before.
i always brought salmon!
i miss my buddy.
SHELLEY M., Nov. 10, 2013, of Moorestown, NJ. Husband of Marion Zeiger. Father of Jeffrey (Natalya) Zeiger and Jennifer (Robert) Cameron. Grandfather of Alexandra Zeiger, Corryn Cameron, Stacia Zeiger and Sierra Cameron. Brother of Michael (Rochelle) Zeiger. Relatives and friends are invited Wed. beginning 12:30 P.M. to PLATT MEMORIAL CHAPELS, Inc. 2001 Berlin Rd. Cherry Hill, NJ where funeral services will begin promptly at 1:00 P.M. Int. Crescent Mem. Park, Pennsauken, NJ. Shiva will be observed at the late residence. Contributions may be made to the Goodwin Holocaust Museum, 1301 Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.
Published in Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News on Nov. 11, 2013
Holocaust survivor and entrepreneur Shelley M. Zeiger,
a longtime Moorestown resident, passed away Sunday, Nov. 10, at the age of 78.
Zeiger, who grew up in Zborów, a town in eastern Poland, escaped—along with the rest of his family
—after the Nazis occupied the town and turned it into a ghetto by hiding in their neighbor’s home for
the duration of the Holocaust, according to a brief bio on theZeiger Enterprises website.
He later emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Moorestown.
Zeiger, who wrote a book about his experiences during the Holocaust titled The Wheel of Life, was also known as “Mr. Trenton” for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic efforts in the city. He opened his first hotel, the Capitol Plaza Hotel, in Trenton in 1980 and is credited with convincing Marriott CEO J.W. “Bill” Marriott to bring his franchise to Trenton, according to the Trentonian. Prior to that, Trenton was the only capital city in the United States without a hotel.
The 78-year-old is also known for his many efforts to forge economic and cultural bridges between the U.S. and Russia, which he viewed as a way to thank the former Soviet Republic for liberating his family.
“Every day since April 1944 has been a gift to me,” he said. “Because my family and I were liberated by the Russians and because the United States gave us a home and freedom, I have tried to foster democracy and improve international relations through international development and cultural exchanges.”
Zeiger was a 43-year resident of Moorestown.
Helen Kirschbaum, director of the Goodwin Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Cherry Hill, estimated Zeiger was one of between 75-80 survivors left in South Jersey—that the museum knows of. He is the 13th Holocaust survivor in the region to die since April.
Zeiger often visited Goodwin to share his story with students, and Kirschbaum said one of the center's greatest fears is the loss of wisdom that accompanies the passing of Holocaust survivors.
The lessons that can be gleaned from learning about the evil and destruction hate can wreak are invaluable, she said. "And there's no one that can explain that better than someone who has lived through it."
"He kept that period alive in the minds of young people," explained Ann-Linn Glaser, a friend of the Zeigers.
She said Zeiger, who was a founding member of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, was very much shaped by his experience during the Holocaust and it made him "a man of great generosity, of great enthusiasm for big ideas ... He was always giving back to the community."
David Weinstein, a Moorestown school board member, grew up down the street from the family and knew Zeiger for more than 30 years.
“For a man that went through so much, he gave to everyone … He just showed compassion to everyone,” said Weinstein. “He definitely left a mark on me, just being able to know him ... The world will definitely be missing a very bright light.”
Kirschbaum echoed Weinstein and Glaser: "(Zeiger) was so giving and so full of life. It showed when he talked to students, or community groups. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to know him."
Zeiger is survived by his wife, Marion; his children, Jeffrey (Natalya) Zeiger and Jennifer (Robert) Cameron; and grandchildren, Alexandra Zeiger, Corryn Cameron, Stacia Zeiger and Sierra Cameron. He was also the brother of Michael (Rochelle) Zeiger.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Platt Memorial Chapels Inc., 2001 Berlin Road, Cherry Hill. Relatives and friends are invited to visit beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Bucks County Gazette April 26, 1918
3rd from left: Charlotte's Great-Aunt Annie Burnet Landreth,
Senator Joseph R. Grundy, Margaret R. "Meta" Grundy
mid to late 1800s at Gettysburg
Senator Joseph R. Grundy
presented this gold clock to
Charlotte and her husband at their wedding.