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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | COUNTYWIDE

More Than 300 Mourn Slain English Teacher

April 04, 1998|MIMI KO CRUZ

Charlotte Pauline Snowden Meissner, the adult education teacher found slain in her Orange County home over the weekend, was remembered Friday as a dedicated educator, avid country line dancer and energetic volleyball player.

The 59-year-old woman, who taught English as a second language at El Monte-Rosemead Adult School and at Whittier Adult School, was buried Friday after a service attended by more than 300 mourners.

Friends, colleagues, family members and students described Meissner as a happy and trusting woman who enjoyed life and always tried to help people in need. She would recycle aluminum cans to raise money to buy books, clothes or food for her needy pupils, said Yvonne Gandare, a counselor at Rosemead High School.

"Charlotte just liked being around people, helping people," Gandare said. "She was real down to earth."

Meissner, who played on two volleyball teams, also loved to dance, said Sam Bettencourt, 46, of Buena Park. The two were members of Parents Without Partners.

"Whenever there was a new member, she was the one who would greet you and make you feel comfortable," he said.

She also was a devout Christian who regularly attended Bible study classes and Sunday sermons at Hope Lutheran Church in Whittier with her father.

"Charlotte was very, very faithful and she touched a lot of people's hearts," the Rev. Tim Beyer said.

Meissner's body was discovered Sunday inside her home in an unincorporated area near La Habra. Sheriff's investigators said they issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Roy Edward Wallace, 44, who lived in her house for about two months. Authorities also continue to search for Meissner's maroon 1992 Dodge Dakota pickup.

For fear of harming the investigation, investigators have not said how or why they think she was killed.

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