Charles David Pipes 1923-2009
Anonymous Author Evelyn Whitaker
Biography: Evelyn Whitaker
The Buttercups
Two Letters
by the author of Honor Bright
Points of confusion
Collection Catalog
Topical Index
Digitized Titles by Evelyn Whitaker
Miss Toosey's Mission
Laddie & Lassie
Tip Cat
Letters to Our Working Party
Our Little Ann
Rose and Lavender
Baby John
Baby Bob
For the Fourth Time of Asking
My Honey
Rob [Rob and Kit]
Tom's Boy
Lassie & Laddie
Gay, a Story
K Cummings Pipes
Christ Church, San Pancras, Albany Street
The Woman Novelist as Theologian
Whitaker Citings
Unlisted pages
A tribute to the librarian's father-in-law.
The link will download in .pdf the slide show which was on view at the visitation.  There are 54 slides so give it a minute to download.

Click to download PDF slide show 7 MB

Obituary read by Steve Sandifer

Monday 30 March 2009 


CHARLES DAVID PIPES was born to Brann and Pauline Pipes on June 10, 1923, in Thurber Texas. Thurber is about half way between Ft. Worth and Abilene, and is a ghost town today, but in the 1920s was the largest town between Ft. Worth and El Paso having a substantial coal mine and brick works, and later oil resources. Brann Pipes worked as a mechanic for the mining company, and when the mine was closed in 1926, he moved his family 16 miles south to a farm near Huckaby. This would be Charles home until his graduation from Huckaby High School. He then went another 15 miles south to Stephenville to enroll in Tarleton State College.


World War II interrupted that education. Charles joined the Army Air Corps and began training to be a pilot. One of his military buddies was William Spivy, whose son Brent is leading our singing this afternoon. William Spivy’s dad, Floyd Jordan Spivy, was a Church of Christ preacher in the Fort Worth area. While Charles and William were in Ft. Worth one time, William suggested that they visit the Riverside church because rumor had it there were some very pretty girls over there. So the boys visited Riverside, and in the end, both came home with wives. Charles met Betty Jane Meggs, and they were married in 1946. Floyd Jordan Spivy performed the ceremony.


After the war, Charles left the military and joined Betty’s dad back in Ft. Worth as a carpenter. They did commercial cabinet work for some of the large department stores. But this work tended to come in spurts and not be dependable, so in search of steady employment, Charles reenlisted in what had become the Air Force with the Korean conflict on the horizon. B-26s became his first assignments, and this led to the family moving to Puerto Rico. He later trained for B-52s and finally for C-130s. Military families move around, and Betty was always there to care for the 4 children as Charles flew his missions. Lt. Colonel Charles Pipes retired from the Air Force at Dyess AFB in Abilene in 1970.


It was now time to move back to the Metroplex and finish that long delayed degree. He and Beth graduated together from UT Arlington the same year, and rumors were rampant about the older man who kept meeting up with and being way-to-friendly with a coed.  She was, after all,  young enough to be his daughter.


In the late 70s, his job brought him to Houston where Charles and Betty joined the Central Church of Christ, and he was soon recognized as a deacon. In 1983 when Southwest and Central merged, they decided to move their church home closer to home and work, so they became a part of Bammel Road. Charles retired from industry, only to go back to work, retire, go back to work, and retire several times before it stuck.


Here at Bammel, he served as a deacon and became a leader of the 39ers, who are now the 59ers, or so, and made sure that that group had a lot of activities. His was the only garage in the area that was wired to support 6 waffle irons cooking at the same time, and probably the only garage with not one but two chandeliers to provide light during large breakfasts in inclement weather. An army of friends were often fed in and around the Pipes’ garage.


In 1989, Betty’s father, Granddad Meggs, came to live with Betty and Charles and was their companion until the end of Mr. Meggs life. Many have heard the story of their unscientific poll of good looking women, “Which would you rather have, a kiss or a tootsie roll?” Tootsie rolls won out.


Charles was one of those folks who never met a stranger, and he seemed to find social or family connections with many of those new-found non-strangers. He had a wonderful way of endearing himself very quickly. He kept track of folks. He sought out senior adults and widows who needed assistance and shopped for them. He was a servant and care giver. He was also famously generously.

On their 50th anniversary, Charles and Betty took kids, grandkids, and spouses on an Alaskan cruise – 14 in all. Nearly every Sunday he met his local family for lunch and often had others as his guests. Each Thanksgiving he took his daughters and daughters-in-law clothes shopping to buy them their new Christmas Party outfits. K and Dee were treated like prized daughters, not in-laws.


And of course he loved Betty deeply, and she was the envy of her friends for the way he treated her.  In these past few days Charles knew that the end of his life was near. He spent much of his time giving instructions to his family for the care of Betty, making sure there were no loose ends to cause the family headaches. He died early Saturday morning, March 28, 2009.


Charles is survived by his wife Betty;

children, David and K Pipes of Houston,

Mary Nel and Charles McLane of Ft. Worth,

Beth and Timothy Cook of Clifton, and

Bryan and Dee Pipes of Houston;

four blood grandchildren, Jolene and Carl Sinkule, Bryan Andrew McLane, Jill Oliver, and James and Sara McLane;

two honorary grandchildren: Joseph Niles and Damon Easter,

great grandchildren, Lacey and Lindsey;

four brothers; three sisters; and numerous other family and friends.


Private burial at Kline Memorial Cemetery following this service.


Unless the LORD builds the house,

They labor in vain who build it;

Unless the LORD guards the city,

The watchman stays awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early,

To sit up late,

To eat the bread of sorrows;
Because God gives His beloved sleep

He supplies the need of those he loves.


Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

So are the children of one’s youth.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;

He shall not be put to shame… Psalm 127



Father, we gather to celebrate the life of your child and your servant, Charles Pipes.

We are thankful that our lives have been blessed by his love, friendship, generosity, and ministry.

We commend him to you, Father, for he has revealed you to us in numerous ways.

We ask now that you bring your peace on the Pipes family, especially during this hour, that they may with joy remember the life of Charles and be comforted by the presence, words, and touch of this host of friends.

How precious in your sight, and in ours, is his death.

In the name of Jesus, the firstborn from the dead, we pray, Amen.


The collection was developed & this website is maintained by
K Cummings Pipes. 
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