Reflections on the Passing of Charlotte Mailliard Shultz

4 December 2021, 6:39 PM
Swing with the Shultzes

The Right Rev. William E. Swing with Dame Charlotte Mailliard Shultz and The Hon. George Pratt Shultz

On Friday, December 3, at 11:45 a.m. Charlotte Mailliard Shultz died.  Gently. Surrounded by a few friends and family members, she breathed her last.  Those gathered were struck by the holiness of death and the profundity of loss. This person who brought so much energy, joy, creativity, fun, and a plethora of unforgettable moments was suddenly gone. The world, which was so much better for her presence, felt hollow in her absence. Pensive!  Aching!

As for URI, Charlotte was a pioneer of the first order.  When the URI Global Council met in San Francisco for the very first time, Charlotte hosted all of the Trustees at her home. After that, she never backed away from a possibility to be of service to URI. Although she was Chief of Protocol for the City and County of San Francisco, she was also the Chief of Protocol for the State of California.  Yet, in the midst of all of that, she always made time for URI.

In her final years, she and her husband, George, agreed to help URI’s Global Council one more time.  A George and Charlotte Shultz Fund for Hospitality and Diplomacy was established. Several million dollars were raised and invested.  The proceeds from that Fund will pay for every meeting of the Global Council in perpetuity. 

Over the years, Charlotte had breast cancer and many hospitalizations. On one of those hospital stays, I wrote a prayer for this lady who grew up in Borger, Texas. Part of the prayer says,

“O Holy One, who awakens Texas with bluebonnets and glorifies evenings in San Francisco with sunsets, Thank you for planting so much life, joyful humanity and extraordinary hospitality in the heart of your child, Charlotte. Surround her with Your presence in these days of quiet waiting…………may the healing touch of of God which brings freshness to frail flesh, fill you with blessings; and may all that endures be the melody of your prayers. In the confidence of the One who triumphed over this world . . . Amen.”

URI has a “Celestial CC.” And if there is ever a reunion in the afterlife, I greatly advise that Charlotte be asked to host the party!

Charlotte blessed URI, and we are indeed grateful!

William E. Swing