1926 – 2019
Charlotte Hugues Self, 92, died peacefully after an eight-month battle with congenital heart disease. She passed away on Saturday, July 27, at her North Carolina home with her daughter, Annette Alexakis, by her side.
Charlotte was born in Munster, Germany, on September 17, 1926, to physician parents Otto Marienfeld, M.D. and Anna Marie Hugues, M.D. Her mother was a leading German physician and as a teenager, Charlotte was a volunteer Red Cross nurse. Together Charlotte and her mother forged and distributed travel papers for political refugees and Jews during the Third Reich in the 1930s.
Charlotte married Eric Dugdale (deceased as of 2008) in 1950, and they moved to California in the early 1950s from Vancouver, Canada, with their then-2-year-old son at the time, Eric Dugdale.
Charlotte and her daughter, Annette Alexakis, moved to the Palisades in 1971. While living in the Palisades, Charlotte earned her master’s degree in microbiology from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. She went on to become a leading microbiologist specializing in neo-natal care for the California Association for Medical Laboratory Technology (“CAMLT”).
Charlotte helped develop newborn screening tests for ailments such as spina bifida. In 1999 she was awarded the Clinical Laboratory Scientist of the year by CAMLT. She retired from CAMLT in 2000.
Charlotte married a second time to Sydney Self in 2001.
In the early 2000s, she volunteered in the UCLA Anthropology Department. In the summer of 2001, she went on an archaeological expedition to establish an anthropological laboratory in Northern Iceland with UCLA. Her grandson, James Alexakis, who was then age 14, accompanied her on the trip to Iceland. The Iceland project discovered and dated the home of the parents of the first Viking child born in North America.
In the later part of her life, she taught opera and anthropology, which led to her publishing her own book in 2017 titled “The Hitler Years Through the Eyes of a Child.” The book recounts her teenage years messengering travel papers to protect people from the Nazi Regime. The book is available on Amazon and is required reading for fifth graders in North Carolina. Her grandson, Christopher Alexakis, designed the cover of the book.
She is survived by her husband, Sydney Self, who now resides in Hendersonville, North Carolina; her son, Eric H. Dugdale (Palisades Historical Society president); her daughter, Annette Alexakis (Pacific Palisades Art Association president); her son-in-law, Glenn Alexakis; grandson, James Alexakis, Esq.,; and grandson, Christopher Alexakis.