Cover photo for Charlene Moskal-Burges's Obituary
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Charlene

Charlene Moskal-Burges

Charlene Moskal-Burges passed away peacefully and surrounded by love the afternoon of October 9th, 2023, after bravely battling declining health for two years with hope and generosity. Char is survived by her loving husband of 41 years and best friend Bill, rescue English Setter Maxwell, cousins Susan Freeman and Wick Seckman, Bill’s son Joel, and countless friends, colleagues, and mentees. We thank her doctors, nurses, aides and friends for magnificent care.

Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Char was predeceased by her parents Sam C. and Louise (Seckman) Moskal. Also awaiting her in the Great Beyond are her cherished pups Alex and Connie.

Mr. Moskal’s retail career took the family many places, finally Columbus, Georgia, where she graduated from high school. Her home in Euclid for 41 years is on Lake Erie, which always brought her joy. For decades, Char spent weekends skiing, golfing, and enjoying her many friends in Ellicottville, N.Y. Later, she fulfilled a dream by building a family home in the Blue Ridge Foothills near Asheville.

Charlene had beauty, curiosity, and many skills and interests. Expert skier. Superb golfer. Great cook. Rocky Mountain backpack camper. Active civic partner. Lover of her good friends, dogs, cars, puzzles, golf league, book club, morning Plain Dealer and nightly news.

Char believed in travel. She represented Tri-C in American delegations to Poland, Egypt, England, and China. She worked at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968-69. She traveled extensively with friends in Europe, Mexico, Cape Cod, the Rockies, Hilton Head, Bermuda, Canada, and North Carolina, and for pleasure and business to many other destinations – always learning.

Char graduated from The Women’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC Greensboro) in Theatre. She interned at North Carolina’s State Theatre in Flat Rock, performed for U.S. troops in the South Pacific, then earned a Masters’ at Case Western Reserve University. Her education included studies at the University of London, the American University of Cairo, and Jagellonian University in Poland. The creative, organizational, and interpersonal skills she learned were lifelong calling cards.

After CWRU, Char joined Cuyahoga Community College in 1963 as its first employee, setting up office and communications systems for incoming President Charles Chapman, and soon became a professor of Speech and Theatre. Her career in Cleveland became a force for good in and beyond our community.

Charlene started Tri-C’s Theatre program, designed the Metro Campus Theatre, conceived and led the Television Center, initiated Tri-C’s partnership with Playhouse Square, and played a key role in college tax levy campaigns. She was designated a Leader for Junior Colleges and chosen for a special institute for leaders in educational television by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Her 31 years at Tri-C were deeply and widely impactful.

Char’s second career as co-founder, partner and senior vice president at Burges and Burges Strategists continued her dedication to making lives better. Her pioneering communications and media consulting for community colleges, human services, urban school districts, executives and elected officials still sets the highest standard. Of course, she diligently mentored her clients and colleagues to carry on this vital work, which was foundational for the firm and impactful for our communities.

Charlene loved life and her spirit is as large as life itself. Char had a long, loving life and paid us forward. She knew how to create an idea and plan, make good things happen and to teach others to do the same. Thanks to all whose lives connected with our beautiful Charlene. May her Force be with you.

A celebration of Char’s incredible life will be held at her beloved Tri-C on December 2, 2023 from 1-4pm at the Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton Center, 2500 East 22nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio, 44115. A memorial service will take place at about 2:45. Arrangements made by The DeJohn Funeral Homes & Crematory of Willoughby Hills.

To continue Char’s impact through education, you may wish to contribute to The Charlene Moskal-Burges Endowment in Theatre (UNCG Excellence Foundation, Advancement Operations, 101 S. Elm Street, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC, 27402-6170); Burges Family Fund (Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, 700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, OH, 44115); Bill and Charlene Burges Graduate Scholarship Fund (Boston University, Metropolitan College, 1010 Commonwealth Ave, 5th Floor, Boston, MA, 02215); Lorain County Community College Foundation (1005 Abbe Road N, Elyria Ohio, 44035); or the Sinclair College Foundation (444 W. Third Street, Dayton, Ohio, 45402).

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