Irene Elaine Goodwin was born December 6, 1951 at Wesson Memorial Hospital in Springfield, MA. In 2017 she relocated to Grayson GA with her youngest daughter Aquana. She was called home on December 27, 2021, on the 34th anniversary of her grandmother, Luis “MoMo” Bothwell's death. Known as “Miss Irene” to the countless students she shuttled to school for years, as well as the many foster children she opened her home to on a regular basis. Elaine was the seventh of 16 children born to the late Deacon James Charles Sr., of Zion Community Baptist Church and Irene Charles. She was predeceased by her four siblings, Lucy Jones, Geraldine Charles, Stephen Charles Sr, and Rachel Green; and her second oldest grandson, Alwin Burke Jr. She leaves six brothers, Willie (Eleanor) Barker, James Charles Jr, Kim (Beatrice) Charles, Christopher (Bev) Charles, Keith (Melody) Charles and Mark Charles; five sisters, Mary (The Late Ronald) Perry, Peggy Davis, Patricia (Archie) Emanuel, Beverly (Elroy) Charles Yearwood and Gloria Smith; all of them having a unique and unforgettable bond with her. I will always remember Mommy’s “open heart policy” that projected such unconditional acceptance for all who she loved; smiles her oldest daughter, Andrea Allen. Ma would always threaten to “jump through the phone and knock me upside the head,” laughed her “Baby Boy” Alwin Burke Sr.. With a blissful grin, her youngest daughter, Aquana Raffington, commented “My mother was the matriarch of our family, living a life full of unmeasurable selflessness.” Our Nana’s cooking was the best, especially her cream of wheat, says nine of her thirteen grandchildren, Brian Failey, Daeja Allen, Yaseen, Aleem, and Najah Raffington, Destiny Allen, Noor Jannah, Ameer Gregory, and Gabriella Raffington. While her enchanting laugh will be remembered by her other 4 grandchildren, Sheyenne Song, Aston, Olivia Skye, and Glory Burke. Sadly, her great-grandson, Aiden Smith has had minimal encounters of his Nana’s infectious hugs. Nominated for being the best mother-in-law in the world by her two handsome son-in-laws, Kevin “Wayne” Allen and Gregory Raffington and her beautiful daughter-in-law, Damaris Burke. Recognized as “Auntie Lainey” by four generations of nieces and nephews that long for just one more conversation with her! Many cousins, love-line family members and forever friends will endlessly miss our agreeable Dear Lainey. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 from 4:30 – 7:30 PM at the Byron Keenan Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center, 1858 Allen Street, Springfield. A funeral home service with live-streaming availability can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/c/pvpvideoLLC. will be held on Wednesday morning, January 5th at 11:00 AM followed by burial in Oak Grove Cemetery, 426 Bay Street in Springfield. For more information, please visit us at www.byronkeenan.com
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