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Dr. Charlotte G. Andrist, 72, passed away in the early morning of April 20, 2019, at her Columbus home, surrounded by many loving family members.
Charlotte was born on August 28, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois before attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and, later, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in June of 1968. During the summer of 1968 she married Harry Andrist, whom she met at the University of Illinois.
Charlotte Andrist was a committed psychologist and educator of others, as well as a devoted student, who continued her own education throughout her lifetime. After attaining her Bachelor of Science degree, she was hired into her first professional position as the local director of Project Follow Through in the public schools of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was funded by the federal government to determine the most appropriate methods for teaching basic skills to at-risk children.
In 1969, Charlotte left Tupelo and joined her husband in Eugene where he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department of the University of Oregon. It was there that she began her graduate training in learning disabilities with a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Special Education that culminated in her receipt of the Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Oregon during June of 1970. She then began a new professional position as a research associate and instructor in the University of Oregon’s Department of Special Education.
From 1971 through 1986, Charlotte and her husband lived in Sheffield, England; Boulder, Colorado; and then Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Charlotte took this time to focus on new endeavors such as throwing pottery, gardening, forming food co-operatives, and, of course, caring for their three young children: Cheryl (1969), Tony (1971), and Nathan (1978).
In 1986, Charlotte received a graduate fellowship from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development as she entered the doctoral program in cognitive psychology at Case Western Reserve University. After graduating with her Ph.D. in January of 1991, Charlotte did cognitive research with Air Force recruits under a U.S. Air Force Faculty Research Award at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. That fall she took up a faculty position at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio where she designed and implemented the graduate reading program. While at Notre Dame College, she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in educational psychology, research design, reading theory, as well as reading diagnosis and intervention. In addition to her teaching duties, Charlotte supervised over fifty master’s degree research projects, and she founded and directed two reading clinics that provided free reading tutoring for elementary, middle, and high school students while training teachers in structured literacy. Charlotte also began collaborations between Notre Dame College and the Cleveland Municipal School District to train teachers as intervention and reading specialists. In addition, she helped coordinate language-learning seminars for
teachers and speech-language pathologists and facilitated joint courses between the College and the Northern Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) where she served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board for eleven years.
In 2002, she relocated to Columbus, Ohio with her husband. Shortly after arriving in Columbus,
Charlotte began serving on the Central Ohio Branch of IDA Board of Directors, an assignment that she continued to fulfill until 2014. Most recently Charlotte served as branch president of the Central Ohio Branch of IDA.
Charlotte Andrist was a strong, independent woman with an incredible drive to improve the world she lived in, both in her personal and professional life. She was motivated by her own difficulties with reading to focus on the field of educational psychology. She worked tirelessly to provide reading support and services for children and their families, including her own children and grandchildren. She was a specialist in the field of dyslexia who was determined to help others understand dyslexia as well as to provide the legislation and support her students needed in order to succeed in life.
She was professionally certified by the Ohio Department of Education in the areas of reading, specific learning disabilities, developmentally handicapped, and school psychology, and she was a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Her education has focused on training in systematic, explicit reading programs including both Direct Instruction (DI) and numerous structured literacy programs, most recently on traditional Orton-Gillingham (OG) strategies.
Dr. Andrist has been in private practice since moving to Columbus in 2002. She has worked on behalf of both Ohio school districts and individual families as an educational consultant, Orton-Gillingham International (OGI) trainer, independent evaluator, and OGI tutor. From her office at the Columbus branch of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), Charlotte provided tutoring and diagnostic services for students who were having difficulty in reading, spelling and other areas of languagebased learning. Diagnostic services she delivered included both formal and informal assessments in reading, language, and written expression. The tutoring she provided followed the Yoshimoto OG approach, and she provided teacher training in the Yoshimoto OG approach at week-long workshops in Columbus at the IWU as well as at various sites around Ohio and in other states.
Charlotte and her husband have maintained a waterfront home on Middle Bass Island for over twenty-seven years where they met and entertained both family and lifelong friends. Also, they have spent many cherished summers there with the grandchildren.The two granddaughters living in the Netherlands visited each summer for many years, while Charlotte and her husband journeyed to Australia on multiple occasions to visit the four grandchildren living there.
Charlotte Andrist will be remembered as a very bright, energetic, and beautiful person with an openly loving, warm disposition, and whose smile and positivity warmed every room she entered. She was an amazing teacher whose impact was widely acknowledged in her support of a large number of individual students as well as in her efforts to revise both national and statewide legislation. In this regard, she was a major force in the field of dyslexia. While her untimely death signals the end of a very special and wonderful life, it is also a powerful reminder of how service to and advocacy for others, especially children, represents the highest ideals of a life worth living.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Martha Giovanetti, as well as her brother, Charles Angelo Giovanetti. Left to cherish her memory are her husband of fifty-one years, Anson Harry Andrist; her sister, Cheryl Steinbach; her daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and Rob AndristPlourde; her sons and daughters-in-law, Anthony Andrist and Sahar Dandan, as well as Nathan Andrist and Cathy Prokop; her grandchildren, Eleanor AndristPlourde, Zoralei AndristPlourde, A’laa Andrist, Israa’ Andrist, Maryam Andrist, Muhammad Andrist, and Nathan Andrist, Jr., as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Two scholarship funds for special education teachers to attend national meetings have been established in Charlotte’s name by the founder of the Yoshimoto OG approach, Ron Yoshimoto: one for the annual conference of the New Hampshire and Vermont branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and the other one at the forthcoming Dyslexia and Orton Gillingham conference in Sydney, Australia.
In accord with her wishes, Charlotte’s remains have been cremated, and a Memorial Service will be held Sunday, June 23, 2019 from 2:00-5:00 pm at Griggs Boathouse, 3033 Thoburn Road, Columbus, Ohio 43026.
Donations may be made to one or both of Charlotte’s favorite charities: The Stev Innovation Fund of Shadowbox Live and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.