Charlotte Geneiveve Ulrich Dotson passed away peacefully on the morning of July 16, 2023, at the age of 102. Charlotte was born August 20, 1920, in Aurora, Illinois. Charlotte was one of five children, with two sisters and two brothers. Her family moved to Texas when she was in 3rd grade and this is where she would spend a significant portion of her life. She graduated from high school in Pecos, Texas and went on to receive her teaching degree from Sul Ross State Teachers College, now known as Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
Before World War II, Charlotte met her husband, Friend Dotson. Friend was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed by the Japanese in 1941 and fought in World War II until it ended. Friend and Charlotte were married after the war on April 5, 1945, and went on to have one daughter in May of 1954, Janet Dotson (Perino). In 1962, Friend, who worked in the oil industry, was transferred to Wyoming. There, they lived in Glenrock and Bairoil. Charlotte taught school for 35 years in Texas and Wyoming. She had even taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Lamont, WY. She taught all grades, but 1st grade was her favorite! In 1973, she was selected as the ‘Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America,’ in recognition of contributions to the advancement of elementary education and community service. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gama.
When she lived in Glenrock, she went along to every single one of Janet’s events. She was always driving Janet and her friends to music festivals, ball games, and had even gotten lost trying to get to Guernsey for a music festival, which was the subject of many laughs for a long time. Charlotte LOVED to dance, and boy could she do the Charleston! When she and Friend lived in Bairoil, Wyoming, she started a dance school in the basement of their home. She put on a dance recital, complete with costumes, hand-sewn by the children’s mothers in the community. She also loved to read, and Danielle Steele was her favorite author.
After her husband, Friend, passed away in 1988, Charlotte started spending more time on the ranch with her daughter’s family. She especially loved being around her two grandchildren. She even built a room onto the house for her summer visits. She would spend the winters, except for Christmas, in Texas and Florida spending time with her brothers and sisters and their families. She was always sure to return to Wyoming before the Perino Horse Sale in June and stay until after the Weston County Fair and Junior Rodeo in August. Around 2006, Charlotte decided to stay at the ranch with Janet and her family year-round. She lived at home until February of 2022, when she moved into Mondell Heights, where she was also loved by the staff.
Charlotte LOVED spending time with her grandchildren, Jill, and Jared, and later her great- granddaughter, Joslyn. She especially enjoyed traveling along and watching them compete in their various activities. Her favorite was County Fair and the Junior Rodeo, which she loved to donate and give back to. She received ‘The Friend of 4-H award’ in 1988, was the secretary of the County 4-H Horse show for five years and was a long-time award donor and buyer at the Junior Livestock Sale. Charlotte was sure to have her chair set up in the front row to cheer on all the kids. Last year was the first year she was unable to attend the County Junior Rodeo in 30 years. She loved and supported ALL the kids. She was “Grandma,” and “G-ma,” and “GG” to many!
Charlotte was interviewed by the local paper when she turned 100 years old, and they asked her what her secret was to a long life and she responded, “Just be happy and enjoy all the wonderful things around us. I’ve had many wonderful moments.” Charlotte is survived by her daughter Janet Perino, two grandchildren Jill (Brian) Pischke, Jared Foy, great granddaughter Joslyn Pischke, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Rosalee Ulrich, husband Friend Dotson, sisters Cecil Dotson and Dorothy Eply, brothers John Ulrich and Bill Ulrich, and son-in-law Tom Perino.
A celebration of life will take place at her home on the ranch in Newcastle, Wyoming (1081 Oil Creek Road), on Friday, July 21, 2023, at 6:00 pm with refreshments. In lieu of flowers, a memorial is established in Charlotte’s name to the Weston County Fair, Weston County Junior Rodeo, and Newcastle Saddle & Sirloin FFA Chapter. Cards and memorial contributions may be sent to her daughter, Janet Perino at PO Box 385, Newcastle, WY 82701.