Charlotte Beck

Obituary of Charlotte Ann Hudgens Beck

The brilliant academic, Charlotte Ann Hudgens Beck, born July 15, 1937, lived to the good, old age of 86. Her spirit left her body on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 in the early morning, around the time she would normally be enjoying the New York Times, a cup of coffee, and a pastry, probably a croissant with extra butter, all while listening to either MSNBC or an opera CD.

Charlotte grew up in Gallatin, TN with her parents James Findlay Hudgens and Mary Charlotte Roberts Hudgens, also with James Findlay Hudgens Jr., her little brother. Charlotte, a great student, went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, with a scholarship to study Voice. She got her Bachelor of Music in 1959. While a student, Charlotte was singing at the Church Street United Methodist Church when she met a wonderful singer in the choir, Raymond Warren Beck, a professor at UT in the Chemistry Department. Charlotte married Raymond and settled into a happy life in Knoxville. Their marriage was a true partnership and love story for their 61 years together.

In the years after the wedding, Charlotte started a graduate program in English, had a baby, finished her Masters Degree in 1963 with the thesis The Conclusions to Brownings's Dramatic Monologues, had another baby, and completed the UT PhD program in English in 1972 with the dissertation The Dramatic Mode in the Poetry of Randall Jarrell.

Dr. Charlotte Beck spent her career years teaching, leading student trips, researching, writing books, and publishing scholarly articles while working at Maryville College, 1972-2001, as a professor and, when asked, as Chair of the Department of Languages and Literature. Charlotte published extensively on Southern writers, especially Randall Jarrell and Robert Penn Warren. Her book, Worlds and Lives: The Poetry of Randall Jarrell was published in 1984 by Associated Faculty Press; The Fugitive Legacy, A Literary History was published in 2001 by LSU Press; and Robert Penn Warren, Critic published by The University of Tennessee Press in 2007. A former president of the Robert Penn Warren Circle, Charlotte edited the Fall 1994-95 Warren issue of The Mississippi Quarterly.

Charlotte achieved her numerous career accolades while raising her two sons, Warren Findlay Beck and Andrew Hudgens Beck, road tripping to their weekend swim meets all over the southeast, attending all UT Volunteer Basketball home games (Go Vols!), cheering on the Atlanta Braves, and vacationing every summer in Hilton Head, SC.

Charlotte and Raymond moved to Hilton Head when Raymond retired, but Charlotte just kept on going, becoming an Adjunct Professor of English at University of South Carolina Beaufort. The Hilton Head years were magical. Charlotte became "beach grandma" with visits from her adored grandchildren three or more times a year. Charlotte loved the beach and swimming in the ocean. Charlotte sang in the Hilton Head Choral Society, the Hilton Head Symphony Chorus and Hilton Head's St. Luke's Church. Charlotte was a foodie. She loved fine restaurants, good wine, and cooking. Charlotte loved traveling, especially to opera and symphony events, her favorites being in Austria, Italy, and Spoleto in Charleston. Charlotte's favorite gift to give was a book.

Warren and Lynmarie, Andy and Elizabeth, and the three grandchildren, Drew, Julia, and Sophie, would like to express gratitude to the compassionate souls who work at Hilton Head Hospital, as well as the caregivers and staff of TidePointe Community and Broad Creek Care Center where Charlotte lived for 10 years.

In lieu of flowers or donations, please text someone you love and tell them how important they are to you.


A Memorial Tree was planted for Charlotte
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Island Funeral Home & Crematory
Share Your Memory of