Charline Marie "Chee Chee" Wallman, 94, passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2019, and lived her life to the fullest extent possible during the past six months in hospice care.
She was born on Nov. 4, 1924, to Charles Chesterfield and Marie Genevieve (Maher) Moore in Pelham, New York. Chee Chee spent her childhood there, in the New York City suburbs of New Rochelle and Bronxville, and at Stony Acres in Westport, Connecticut. Her last 10 years living on the eastern seaboard were spent in Manhattan; Greenwich Village; and Palm Beach, Florida.
Chee Chee attended Southern Seminary in the Blue Ridge Mountains area of Buena Vista, Virginia. She graduated from secondary school at Linden Hall, Lititz, Pennsylvania, and held a degree in fashion merchandising from Finch College in New York City.
At the end of World War II, Chee Chee was proud to welcome home returning veterans at New York Harbor, and to volunteer at a local military canteen.
In New York, Chee Chee worked at ABC (the American Broadcasting Company), for Specialty Salesman magazine and at her father's advertising agency, Moore and Hamm. She also worked at the designer dress boutique of B. Altman and Company on Fifth Avenue. Chee Chee especially enjoyed working as a marketing researcher for the fashion industry trade journal, Women's Wear Daily, the sister publication of today's fashion magazine, "W."
Chee Chee met Charles J. Wallman on a blind date in Chicago, and married on Flag Day, June 14, 1952, at Saints Faith, Hope & Charity Catholic Church in Winnetka, Illinois. They celebrated 49 years of marriage before his passing in 2001.
For 25 years, Chee Chee operated the Fitting Room as a women's clothing sales consultant for Doncaster, Inc., of North Carolina. She was recognized with multiple regional sales awards throughout her career.
Chee Chee authored a weekly column on fashion for the Watertown Daily Times, featuring local women as models. She additionally taught courses on fashion and design at the Madison Area Technical College-Watertown campus.
For many years, Chee Chee was active in politics. She attended the inaugural ball of Wisconsin Gov. Warren P. Knowles, and she was invited to President Richard M. Nixon's inaugural gala in Washington, D.C.
Chee Chee was co-chair for David Keene in his campaign for Wisconsin state senator. He later became president of the National Rifle Association, and was a campaign adviser to several U.S. presidents.
She was chair of her son Jeff's campaign in his run for state Assembly on the Democratic ticket. Chee Chee was a chair on Wisconsin's Women for Nixon campaign, and was a longtime member of the League of Women Voters.
In 2003, Chee Chee was one of few women statewide to receive the Champion of Women's Health Award, presented by Wisconsin's former first lady, Sue Ann Thompson. Chee Chee was recognized not only as a cancer survivor, but also as a dedicated volunteer and board member for the Watertown Women's Center and for the Jefferson County Cancer Society. She was a volunteer at the Watertown Memorial Hospital.
Chee Chee was a member of the board of education at St. Bernard's Catholic School, a board member of St. Bernard's Catholic Parish and a parish Cub Scout den mother. She volunteered as a school reading aide, and as a driver for Meals on Wheels.
Chee Chee was a member of the Watertown social group, 30 Over 30, and was a member of the Watertown Country Club for 60 years. She belonged to the same bridge and book clubs for decades.
Chee Chee's interests were broad. She was an active member of the Marquardt Village retirement community and later, at Park Terrace Assisted Living.
Chee Chee will be lovingly remembered for her friendliness, positive attitude, humor, kindness and generosity. She was a loyal friend and a devout prayer warrior.
Chee Chee was a loving wife, as well as a devoted mother of five and grandmother to 10. She will be greatly missed and is survived by her children, Steve (Betsy) Wallman, Jeff Wallman (Finley Moll), Susie Sheldon, Poppy (Tom) Cooper and Andy (Jen) Wallman. She is further survived by grandchildren Emmett, Jones and Maya Wallman; Charlie and Sam Wallman; Allie Sheldon; Molly McFarland (fiancé Ajay Vilos); and Madeline, Lucy and Lilly Wallman. Other survivors include dear friends Margaret Luchsinger, Rita, Grace, Karen, Gracie and more.
The family would like to thank Dr. Salim Shammo, Dr. John Basarich, their staff, and staff at Watertown Family Practice, Watertown Regional Medical Center, Marquardt Village, Park Terrace and Marquardt Home Health and Hospice.
She was preceded in death by beloved family members including her husband, Charlie; her parents; her brother, C. Philip Moore; son-in-law Mike Sheldon; and her cousin, Marie (Maher) Wills White.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Bernard's Catholic Church with Father Patrick Wendler presiding. She requested that guests wear bright colors to reflect and honor her happy life. Visitation will be at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will immediately follow the service at St. Bernard's Catholic Cemetery.
If desired, memorials in Chee Chee's honor may be given to a charity of one's choice.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home is caring for the family. To place online condolences, please visit www.pn-fh.com.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home
213 S. Fifth St. Watertown