Charlene C. Norman


Charlene Chiho Norman passed away peacefully at home on the morning of October 5th, 2020, with her loving husband, children and sister by her side, just as she had wished. 

She was born on January 3, 1948, in Sacramento to parents Toru & Tayeko Aoyagi, the eldest of two daughters. She graduated from UC Davis and then began a 32-year career in the US Postal Service.

Upon retirement, Charlene enjoyed spending her days at home with Virgil, her husband of 42 years. She was incredibly proud of her two children, Jason and Lisa, and her daughter-in-law, Stephanie. Her most enjoyable memories were spending time with her family at Disneyland and in Maui.  She also loved the magic of Christmas and making sure the kids were surrounded by presents. 

Among her greatest passions was spending time in the kitchen, creating the most delicious meals, desserts and chocolate delicacies. Her truffles were among her most notable creations, which demonstrated the type of thought, care and detail she put into everything she made. We can all agree that her caramel, chocolate covered pretzel sticks will be greatly missed.

As a third generation Japanese American, Charlene embraced her heritage by learning the art of kimekomi doll making and volunteering at the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church. She was able to reconnect with her relatives in Japan while her daughter, Lisa, lived and worked in Oita Prefecture. She really cherished her time there.

She spent the last couple of years fighting metastatic breast cancer from her original diagnosis in 2014. She remained hopeful and put up a hell of a fight until the end.  Although Charlene kept the details of her journey private, she knew that she always had the love and support of her friends and family and remained forever grateful for their many kindnesses.  

Charlene will be remembered for her gracious, kind-hearted, and giving soul. These are qualities that her family will carry on.

In lieu of flowers or plants, we ask that you consider making a donation in her honor to a charity of your choice or to one of the following organizations that her family feel were important to her. She always spoke highly of and appreciated all of the care she received from the Sutter Medical Foundation and Sutter Care at Home. She also liked supporting the Asian Community Center (ACC) for the classes she took there and the services they provide to our community.


  • Alan & Cheryl Ito says:

    Dear Virgil and Family,
    We will miss Charlene very much. Losing a friend is very hard for us. Our deepest condolences to all of you.

  • M. Wong says:

    Dear Virgil & Family,

    We are very sorry to hear of Charlene’s passing. May the beautiful memories of Charlene give you strength and love forever in your hearts.

    Hon Wong & Family

  • Phil says:

    To Virgil and the kids now adults! May Charlene’s love for you, forever be with you, as she did have one of biggest Hearts of anyone I have ever met, and the most gentle of souls, my heart is with you. Phil

  • Jeff Aguilar says:

    Hi Virgil
    So sorry to hear about your wife, Charlene’s passing. Laura and I send our love and prayers to you and the family.

  • Dennis Wycoff says:

    Virgil, Jason and Lisa, I am so sorry for your loss. I will forever cherish the memories of Charlene bringing joy and her great cooking to the Fire Station. My heart aches for your loss. You are all in my prayers! Love you all! Dennis

  • Colleen Youngblood says:

    Virgil, Lisa and Jason. My heart is broken for you and with you. Charlene may have been quiet in nature but she spoke so eloquently and clear thru her many talents. I will forever remember her salads you would bring to the station Virgil. Palm hearts are a part of my life to this day. And her banana pudding is a staple in my family. My love is with you more than ever Virgil as you have never been far from my heart. I wish you all Peace and Blessings in this unthinkable time.

  • The Mata family says:

    To Virgil and Family,
    Our deepest condolences to all of you. Charlene was very fun and loving to be around. We send our love and prayers to you and the family. She will be missed by everyone, a lot!!!!

    Much love and aloha,
    The Matas

  • Dave Tambor says:

    To Virgil and Family.

    Iam so very sorry for your loss, My deepest condolences to you and your family. Know your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Dave Tambor

  • Janice and Michael Wehe says:

    You and your family have our deepest condolences. We’re so sad to hear of Charlene passing. It has brought back all the memories that I had growing up with Charlene as my best friend in the early teen years…spending weekends biking around Sacramento, talking thru the night, eating, laughing, sharing secrets, just having all around fun or just sitting and doing nothing. They were very precious times. She will be missed. Thinking of you and your family during this sad times and knowing you have many such precious memories, too. God Bless.

  • Phil Challinor says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We extend our deepest sympathies, thoughts, hugs and prayers as you move through this difficult time.
    The Challinor family – Phil, Jamie, and Amelia

  • The Hanisits says:

    The Hanisits family send your family our prayers and thoughts. Jonathan was fond of Char and was always glad to see her. LOVE TO ALL

  • Vicki Llewellyn-Shisler says:

    To Virgil and family,

    I just wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss of Charlene! She was a sweet lady with a gentle soul! Prayers for strength for you all!

  • John & Sumi Guilday says:

    Sumi and I were sorry to of Charlene’s passing. Know that you and your family are always in our prayers.

  • Allie Bergman says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. May happy memories bring you comfort.

  • Sharon Sano says:

    Dear Virgil and Family: Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time, Virgil. Charlene was such a beautiful person. We caught up on each others’ lives working together at bazaar each year. I know how much she cherished her family. I am thankful to have known her. Our deepest condolences.
    Sharon and Ken Sano

  • Jan Sutton says:

    I honor Charlene and her loving family for their constant love and support for one another. I respect your vigil to uplift her and each other as she made her journey to receive her heavenly wings. What a blessing and gift you all shared with family. May God ease your grief, comfort your sorrow and bring peace.

  • Mimi & Denny says:

    Please accept our sympathy in your time of grieving.The pain of losing someone so close can seem unbearable, but we hope you find comfort among your friends and family and cherish the memories of your beloved Charlene.

  • Gilbert Lee says:

    Dear Virgil and Family,
    Our heartfelt condolence go out to you and family. We will surely miss the presence of a truly gentle and kind person. We hope that the fond and cherished memories of her will bring you and family peace in your hearts.
    Gilbert and Debra Lee

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