Hendrina C. Charles

Hendrina Christina Cedras Charles was born on the 4th of June 1945 in Vasco Cape Town. Her father’s name was Thomas Cedras and her mother’s name was Regina Hess. She had 5 sisters (one who died very young) and 3 brothers and they grew up in an area called “lous se boss”. The world her family was forced to accept after the onset of apartheid was hidden from her eyes by the strength and faith of her parents. Mama Cedras made sure that anyone without a place to sleep could come to the house and have food to eat and a place to sleep. Mama Cedras also made it a point to teach Hendrina about the true meaning behind the fear of God. Hendrina often recounted the stories of being chased down the street by mama who was screaming at the top of her lungs and waiving a stick with which she intended to carry out the Lords rebuke here on Earth. The loss of her father left her without the soft guidance she so desperately cherished. It was not longer after, at the age of 13 that she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. It was this unwavering faith that would carry her throughout her life’s journey. From this young age she recounted that she already had big dreams. She was going to sing, perform, and travel world. She took on the role of the big sister as she looked after Rita and Tony while they were at the War Memorial Day Care Centre. This caretaking role would define her life. There are few who crossed paths with Hendrina who did not benefit from her kindness both materially and spiritually. Her marriage gave her three beautiful children, Andre, Richard and Eugenie. Following her mother’s example, she made her house a home to everyone and saw that no need would go unmet. Her dreams of singing, performing and traveling would unfold at many different venues both in South Africa and in the United States. Her family found its strength in God as they would sing His praises. One by one the children grew and left on their own journeys. As she struggled to keep the family together she remained a rock for those around her. Hendrina’s lightness of spirit and devotion to her creator allowed her to be an encouragement to all those who crossed her path. Those years saw both incredible success and failure. She had opportunity to travel to both Europe and the United States as a result of her ability to drive sales for her company. It was this trip to the United States that changed the direction of her life. Although born a South African she found her heart leading her back to the United States. With much heartache she made a final decision, and in the middle of her life she packed her bags and headed off on a new adventure. She made her home in Los Angeles with her daughter Eugenie and son-in-law Ken. It did not take long for the Americans to marvel at what a wonderful gift God had given them. She continued to use her singing and her spirit of encouragement to impact hundreds of lives. She worked as a caregiver to those who could not care for themselves, a role she seemed to be perfect for. Her adventure took another unexpected turn when she found herself on a plane heading for the other side of the United States. From the sunny palm trees of Los Angeles she was confronted with the short summers and icy winters of a place called Rhode Island. Again she took on work as a caregiver. The families of her clients loved her as one of their own and she found opportunity to continue to encourage at every turn. To truly have know Hendrina is when you saw her love and devotion to her grandchildren. There were nine in all. Andre gave her Dreyana, Naomi, and Joei. Richard and Jenine gave her Courtney, Whitney, Richard, and Christina. Eugenie and Ken gave her Laura and Samuel. A post she put on facebook summed up in her own words how she felt. My grandchildren mean the world to me. Some people don't like the word grandma I think it is the most beautiful word. I always said when I have them I don't want to be called Ma, ouma, or nanie etc. I love my grandchildren to infinity and beyond I'll do anything for them! Hendrina would do anything for anyone. Everyone who had the opportunity to know her has a story of her wisdom, encouragement, a favorite song, a hug, or even a meal, preferably a nice restaurant. God in his infinite wisdom took her to be at home where she can continue her good work as she watches over all of us. She wrote in her memoir about her mother and how she was known to everyone as Mama Cedras and how her good deeds were still spoken about to this day. As she reflected on these words this is what she had to say, “I hope that I can leave this world and people would speak of me fondly, as with my mother.” A funeral service will be held on Tuesday February12th at 10:00am in The Butterfield Chapel 500 Pontiac Avenue Cranston. Visitation will be held on Monday from 5:00-8:00pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to assist with the funeral costs.

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Richard Thomas Charles - 02/08/2013

To my dearest mother you will eternally be in our hearts Richard Jenine,Courtney,Whitney,Richard jnr and Christina We love you always...

Candice Dudley - 02/08/2013

She was a second mom to me for many years! She is sooo missed already.

Eugenie Genereux - 02/08/2013

I love you to infinity and beyond mom! Your memories will live on in my life and I will never forget the values you have taught me. Going on without you here will be very hard but I know that you are my angel and are watching over me and guiding me every day! My tears are not hidden from GOD and I know this is where my strength will come from to go on.

Danna Teal - 02/08/2013

Hendrina, I know you are in heaven singing with the angels. Thank you for the joy you always shared, the great hugs and the love of God you radiated. You will be missed.

Jean & Stephen McKee - 02/08/2013

Hendrina was truly the nicest person to talk to. Many people do not have the opportunity to meet their neighbors. I was very lucky that I had the opportunity to meet her. She had an infectious laugh which I will always remember. I did not get to talk to her as much as I would have liked to but when I did it was always memorable. I would often see her spending many days sitting on the porch with Laura and Samuel or taking Sam for a walk in his stroller. She will be missed by all who knew her. She will never be forgotten. Our deepest sympathy to all her friends and family especially Eugenie, Ken, Laura and Sam.

Kaija, Tony and Jan Cedras - 02/08/2013

In gratitude for your loving and joyful spirit. Thank you for your kindness, your laughter and your song. Dear (Auntie) Hendrina.

Antonio & Sharon Kinard - 02/08/2013

The bridegroom calls for his bride and she returns to him brightly and full of anticipation as to all that awaits her. Sweet Hendrina, you are radiant! Keep singing...for it is your voice that we wish to hear greeting us one day. And think of it, you never have to stop! We love you and thank you for your friendship.

Eugenie, Ken, Laura and Sam, may the joyful memories of your life with your mom (grandma)comfort you always. We mourn with you.

Angie and Gabriella Meyer-02/09/2013 - 02/09/2013

My dearest aunty Driena, we will miss you so much! Your memory, your laughter, your smile, your spirit, will live in our hearts forever. She was truly an inspirational woman and what she has taught me, I will never forget. RIP my sweet aunty, love you always! To Andre, Richard, Eugenie, Jenine, Ken, Dreyana, Naomi, Joei, Whitney, Courtney, Richard jnr, Christina, Laura and Sam, just remember our thoughts and prayers are with you. Lots and lots of love!

Hilton & Glenda,Luzettte.Jody, Lucan and Athaliafa - 02/09/2013

Àntie Drina.ÿou were our inspiration when our parents died.ÿou were loved by so many South Africans.ÿou are our African Queen.Rest well Mamma of the African soil.We will surely miss you.Hamba kahle Anty DAz!!!

Amanda Jansen and family SA - 02/09/2013

Aunty Driena I will always remember you as one of the rare ones from your generation that could not only show love but could say loud and clear "I love you". We only have beautiful memories of you. You have fought the good fight my aunt now you're with your Saviour. Till we meet again at Jesus feet. Andre,Richard and Eugenie you're in our prayers. No one can comfort like Jesus. Run to Him. Love

Natalie - 02/09/2013

Will always remember your kindhearted and beautiful spirit. Thank you for our chats on fb and the encouraging words to me on 26 Jan. Was looking so forward to our coffee date but we will do that when we meet again in heaven. Wonderful and caring mother, grandmother and friend is what I will always remember. Love and miss you

Sandra Curran and family CT South Africa - 02/10/2013

Auntie Driena, you lived out your purpose here on earth by reaching and touching so many through song. You are leaving this earth empty coz you have given everything. That is an inspiration to me. I particularly loved your song: Jesus and me till the end. Till we meet again auntie

Brian and Mayra Aurell - 02/10/2013

We are forever grateful for your friendship and love. We will always cherish our times together, beginning in CA, then CT, and finally in RI. We love you! God bless you, beautiful mama Hendrina.
Genie, Ken, Laura, and Sam- our prayers are with you. You all carry a piece of Hendrina...may you find comfort in all the special memories.

The Nelson Family - 02/11/2013

May God's peace and love be upon your family till we meet again
The Nelson Femily (from Nooitgedacht)



Vanessa Van Der Vendt - 02/11/2013

I never had the privilege of meeting Christina Hendrina Cedras Charles in person but was privileged enough to share some comments with her on facebook. A Woman of Worth, Strength, Faith and Character. A Mother, a Friend, a Mentor, a Confidant.
Many cried when You passed away and still cry today. Although We Love You dearly, We couldn't make You stay. A golden Heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke Our Heart to prove to Us He only takes the Best. May Your Soul Rest In Peace and Rise In Glory. ♥

The Rumowicz Family - 02/11/2013

We will miss you Nana Hendrina. You always had a smile and something funny to say. We had a lot of laughs when you were around. God Bless.

Cheryl L. Butler - 02/11/2013

Still smiling that you alerted me only two weeks ago about Barry Manilow being on TV!! And I think one of my fondest memories has to be the Easter that I drank "Papa's homemade wine" and we ended up on the trampoline together in our backyard! LOL (I know pictures will surface of that day sooner or later!) You were one special lady, Nana Hendrina! My kids adored you and you were always so supportive and loving with all of us. Now you can rest peacefully, and watch over all of us----Lord knows we need all the angels we can get! LOL Much love and Peace..............God Bless! XXOO Cheryl & family

Helen Kiragu - 02/12/2013

I feel grateful to have known you Hedrina. You are an extraordinary mother,friend and a God loving woman who gave herself generously to others. I will miss you dearly and you will always be in my heart. Though you are no longer physically with us,am privileged to know you are now an angle watching over us. I love you and may you rest in peace in heaven until we meet again.

God Bless.

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