Since early 2007, when I moved back to New York City, I have found it difficult to stay connected with all of the friends I made during my years working in Western Pennsylvania politics. This is especially true for those who do not participate in social media. In fact, in a few recent Christmas cards, I felt compelled to write, "I'm sorry for being so lousy at keeping in touch."
Charlotte McCreanor was an exception to this. One of the great volunteers of my State House races, Charlotte vigorously promoted my candidacy to her neighbors in Cross Creek Township near the village of Avella. Charlotte spoke on my behalf outside her polling place each Election Day, attended events, donated funds and volunteered at my campaign booths at the county fair and community festivals. In one instance, Charlotte made it possible for me to join her for lunch at the local senior center (where I danced the polka with some of the ladies).
After I moved back to New York, Charlotte called me every few weeks to check on me and provide updates on happenings back home. I would tell Charlotte about my job and travels. She would tell me her volunteer work at Washington Hospital and about changes in the lives of our common friends.
Charlotte's most recent calls in the summer and autumn of 2013 brought the bad news that she had been diagnosed with cancer. According to her obituary, Charlotte died November 21. I only learned of her death in the past fortnight.
I will miss Charlotte. She was a good woman and a true friend.
May she rest in peace.