In July, while most of my kids were at home, our family was invited to have dinner at Pete and Deb Charron’s house. Although it may not seem like a very big deal to be invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, Deb is famous in Muskegon for her homemade spaghetti. In fact, Deb’s spaghetti is so popular that in the past it has been auctioned off at a local fundraiser for thousands of dollars, both because the food is so good and because the hosts are such great company. Needless to say, we were honored that she offered to make her delicious spaghetti for our family.
This post isn’t really about spaghetti though. This post is about Deb and Pete and how much they mean to our family and the love and support they’ve shown us over the years.
Mark and I first met Deb Charron because she taught each of our kids math at Muskegon Catholic Central High School. She was always respected as a teacher and the kids loved her. They talked about her brownies, which she sliced with a ruler, and how she would often spray students with a squirt bottle if they misbehaved in class. They also talked about her famous podium and how she only allowed her favorite students to sign it when they graduated. (To spare a fight later on, I won’t mention which one of my kids was allowed that honor.)
Deb always made herself available if any of her students needed extra math help, which all of my kids did. If they didn’t have time to get help during or immediately after school, they could stop by her house in the evening, which many students did. Like our kids, so many students adored Deb as a teacher. One of her former students even created a Facebook page “…out of selflessness in an effort to share Mrs. Charron with a broader community.” and the page has hundreds of likes, most by people she has taught.
Pete Charron, Deb’s husband, along with my brother-in-law, Luz, coached Corey and Bryan’s varsity tennis teams when they were in high school. Pete was a great coach. He could be very strict at times, but our kids loved being on his team. They both have very fond memories of road-tripping to matches in the team van and having sleepovers at Pete and Deb’s house before weekend tournaments. When Corey was a junior, the team went undefeated and won the state championship and it was so much fun to be part of, even for the parents. I think every family that had kids on Pete’s teams loved the close-knit family environment that evolved each season. In fact, each year Pete would host a tennis reunion during the season and many of his former players would come back to practice with his current players. They loved him that much.
I feel I should also mention Pete and Deb’s two sons, Brian and Kyle, both of whom were great tennis players and both of whom were kind enough to share their parents with everyone at Muskegon Catholic Central for so long.
Despite my love for them, I do have one gripe about the Charrons, however. When Corey graduated from high school, Deb was chosen by his class to be the commencement speaker at their graduation ceremony. In her speech, which was in front of hundreds of people, she mentioned how I used to put Dial soap on Corey’s tongue when he was a little kid because he was so fond of using the bad words that he had picked up from one of his babysitters. But Deb told the story in such a funny way that I can’t really be mad.
Our family’s appreciation for Pete and Deb didn’t stop after the kids graduated from MCC and no longer needed math or tennis help. Our family, along with many, many other families at Muskegon Catholic Central, still hold a special place in their hearts for the Charron family.
Pete and Deb,
Thank you for the delicious spaghetti dinner, but most of all, thank you for your love and kindness. You have meant so much to so many.