Charlotte Gambol, SCN, was called to her heavenly home on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, at the age of 90 and in the 73rd year of her religious life. Sister entered the Congregation of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity from Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947. The Vincentian Sisters of Charity merged with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 2008.
She received her Bachelor of Education degree from Duquesne University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Catholic University. As a gifted English, Religion, and Art teacher, Sister Charlotte devoted herself to the teaching profession for 48 years in the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Greensburg, PA. At the age of 70, she went back to school to get her license in cosmetology. Although she didn’t know anything about this field, she bravely undertook this ministry because she felt it would benefit the community. After obtaining her license, she operated a small beauty salon for the older sisters who couldn’t get hairstyling services.
Many people are the proud owners of a set of her “one of a kind” Christmas carolers. She began making these adorable caroler sets in 1975. Sister Charlotte also used her artistic talent to scour the thrift stores for clothes for the sisters. She likened it to a treasure hunt.
Sister Charlotte spent her retirement years at St. Louise Convent in Pittsburgh, Carrico Hall in Nazareth, Kentucky, and at Nazareth Home in Louisville, Kentucky, where she died.
Sister Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents Andrew and Mary Gambol. She is survived by her cousins, friends, and by her Sisters in Community.
- Sister Charlotte will be buried in the Nazareth Cemetery on Thursday, August 20, 2020, at 10 a.m. The prayer ritual will be filmed and will be shared.
- A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date.
Funeral Arrangements are being handled by Ratterman Funeral Home, 3800 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY. Memorials may be sent to the SCN Office of Mission Advancement, P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, KY, 40048.
Sister Charlotte taught me art, literature, and a whole lot more, for my 4 years at Vincentian High School (graduated 1963). She was an amazing teacher and great influence in my life and in my work. Besides principles of design, and aesthetics, we learned art history, practical skills, diligence, and professionalism. Because of my experience with Sister Charlotte, upon graduation, I was able to jump in and compete with my new classmates in the Fine Arts Department of Carnegie Mellon University. Not easily done since many students there came from NY’s High School of Music and Art. With profound gratitude, I carry her light in my heart always.
Sister Charlotte was a member of our family. She was my mother’s first cousin and as they were only children in some ways they grew up together more as siblings than cousins. My earliest memories of visiting the convent on McKnight Road included the walks down to the farm, being afraid of the sometimes aggressive roosters, seeing the pigs and the beautiful grounds. I met many fine members of the community on our visits, many of the nuns who have proceeded sister to our heavenly father. There were visits to our home as well in Bedford Heights Ohio, another great opportunity to meet other members of the Vincentian community. Of course in the earliest days, she would have to stay at a local convent. I have pictures of Charlotte on the beach in her full habit. I was inspired and touched by her love and gentle kind nature. She was a wonderful woman full of faith, and understanding. I had told her what a joy she was during a visit to Pittsburgh a year or so ago when she was feeling ill. I have seen letters from previous students which she treasured. She has touched many lives and now is with God, with mind and body restored, and spreading joy again.
As an SCNA from Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to meet, eat, pray, sing with and experience this “one of a kind” art infused woman. In life, we may not understand the challenges each other faces but in death, we have clear eyes that focus on the “work of art” that God created, which in this case was Charlotte. She was always dressed so lovely in her thrift store wardrobe happily sharing the pennies she paid for each outfit! I am the proud owner of 3 of her carolers which will continue to remind me of this talented woman each holiday season. She chose to move to Nazareth perhaps as a final fiat knowing that she was welcome there. We are sorry that she only had a brief time among you, but happy that her long suffering years have ended and now she has real peace and comfort with the God she served and the family with whom she is now united.