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
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’
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.
the LORD builds the house,
labor in vain who build it;
LORD guards the city,
watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
sit up late,
eat the bread of sorrows;
Because God gives His beloved sleep
the need of those he loves.
children are a heritage from the LORD,
of the womb is a reward.
in the hand of a warrior,
the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
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