Charlotte died peacefully at her home on South Whidbey Island on May 15, 2020. “Casa Carlotta,” the home she designed and built in the Useless Bay Colony, Useless Bay Golf & Country Club, Langley, Wash., was truly a beautifully happy and heavenly place on earth for Charlotte.
Charlotte Marie Hunt was born in Redfield, S.D., on Nov. 20, 1937 to Fred Oliver Hunt, a United Methodist minister, and the former Pearl Christine Levans. Soon, however, her parents and two siblings with newborn Charlotte relocated to the Pacific Northwest, so pastor-father Fred could serve churches in Oregon and Washington.
Charlotte graduated from Monroe High School in 1956. She then attended the College of Puget Sound, now UPS, where she was active in the sorority Delta Delta Delta.
Later, Charlotte was graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Washington, focusing on architecture and earning a degree in Urban Planning. At the UW, Charlotte enrolled in the Architecture in Rome program and spent one full University quarter living in Italy. The love of Italian culture and language fueled Charlotte’s wanderlust, leading her to visit most nations of Europe and faraway places like Russia, the Ukraine, Finland and Denmark.
During her early legal secretarial career, Charlotte met and married attorney Richard D. Bonesteel. Together they raised three children. Later, she married attorney, hotelier and Seattle World’s Fair executive Harry Henke III. Harry was a lifelong boater. He, with Charlotte, bought a yacht they named “Tiger Hunt,” and she designed its interior. That experience led Charlotte to her career of interior designing for boats, homes and commercial spaces. Her outstanding reputation in this profession prompted her to retain the surname from her business, Charlotte Henke Designs.
Following the death of Harry, serendipity brought Dick McGrath into Charlotte’s life. Their 20-year marriage brought of them both joy and companionship of those fortunate to grow old together.
Charlotte was active in the Seattle Tennis Club, Seattle Yacht Club and Rainier Club. Her charitable activities included fund-raising for the Child Hearing League and Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and active involvement with the English Speaking Union Seattle Branch and its Shakespeare program of high school student public speaking international competition. Charlotte also volunteered at South Whidbey Elementary School, teaching “Art in Architecture, a program she created to demonstrate beauty in worldwide classic architecture.
Charlotte is survived by her husband, Dick McGrath; son, Richard D. Bonesteel, Jr., with Dolores, grandchildren, Philip and Richard George Bonesteel, and great grandson, Luccas Bonesteel; daughter, Wendy Wilson, and grandchildren, Kainoa Wilson, Bailee (Wilson) Bryant, with Eric and Christopher, and Shayna (Wilson) Angel, with Marc, and great grandchildren, Lyla and Louis; and by stepsons, Michael and John McGrath.
Charlotte is also survived by siblings, John Hunt, with Britta, Christine McCroskey, with Richard, and Fred Hunt, Jr., with Valerie, and by many nieces and nephews.
Charlotte was predeceased by her parents; daughter, Linda Bonesteel; and by sister, Nan Fisher.
In lieu of flowers or donations, please simply join our family in contemplating loving memories of our beloved Charlotte. Celebrations of Charlotte’s life will take place both at her South Whidbey Island home and in Seattle.
In Charlotte’s own words: “I am happy with my accomplishments and … I am in a very happy place.”