Cherished wife, mother and friend, Charlotte Belle Gornto passed away peacefully on May 12 at her home in Palm Desert. She was 95.
The older of two children of Clara and Jerry Morris, Charlotte was three years old when her family moved from Portland, Oregon to Northeast Los Angeles. She attended Aragon Avenue Elementary School in Cypress Park and Franklin High School in Highland Park, keeping in touch with her Class of 1940 alums well into her 80s. She attended Metropolitan College and Frank Wiggins Trade School, the forerunners of today’s L.A. Trade-Technical College.
In 1941, Charlotte married Stanley Ambrose. They had two daughters, Janis and Jill. When World War II broke out, she worked to support the war effort, most notably, as a rivet inspector at the Douglas Aircraft Company. She often boasted that she inspected “Rosie’s rivets.”
Stanley Ambrose died in 1950, after a five-year struggle with a terminal illness. With the help of extended family, Charlotte continued to work to support herself.
In 1952, she married Raymond Gornto. They added two more children to their family, Cathy and Ray, and settled in Eagle Rock. Charlotte dedicated her time to providing a good home life for her family, while helping her husband run Oxy Blind and Shade Co., their family-owned window covering business in Eagle Rock.
After raising her children, she filled her time with philanthropic work through Soroptimist International. Upon retirement, Charlotte and Raymond relocated to Palm Desert, where they enjoyed an active social life of entertaining, traveling and motor home camping with family and friends.
Charlotte was preceded in death by Raymond after 61 years of marriage, and by her daughter, Jill Kozak. She leaves behind her daughters, Janis Chew and Cathy Riley (David), and her son, Ray Gornto (Catherine), as well as six grandchildren, Joe Kozak (Dixie), Jeff Kozak (Cynthia), Randall Chew (Nicole), Kristin Reutimann (Wes), Austin Gornto, Kayla Riley, and seven great-grandchildren.
She will be missed dearly by all those who loved her. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery, 2400 Fair Oaks Ave in Altadena, CA 91001.
– The Family of Charlotte Belle Gornto