Charles Monroe Luther August 2, 1935 - August 23, 2014. |
Charles, son of Elsie and Charles Luther, was born and raised in Palacios, TX.
He graduated from the University of Texas and from UT's College of Pharmacy.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Rose, daughters Rosanette and Rovanna, son Garth, and five grandchildren. Preceding him in death were his daughter Roxanne, his parents, and his sister Claire Joy.
Charles loved growing up in Palacios, "The City by the Sea." Charles told many stories about his childhood years. He especially loved to tell about the years during WWII. The forties in Palacios were especially exciting for Charles. Soldiers were stationed just west of town at Camp Hulen. As more and more soldiers arrived, the camp became so overcrowded that homeowners were asked to house soldiers and their families in their spare bedrooms. Charles' family moved to his parents' hotel, the Luther Hotel, so officers and their wives could live in their home. The hotel was so full that Charles slept on a cot in the kitchen of his families' apartment but was allowed to keep his clothes and toy soldiers in his sister's bedroom so long as he did not touch her things.
Big name bands came to Palacios to play at the Palacios Pavilion. Charles often went to sleep listening to the music as the sound drifted over the bay to the hotel. A memory Charles cherished was of waiting at the foot of the stairs of the hotel for Rita Hayworth to come down from her room. When she saw him she said, "Oh, what a cute little boy!" and kissed him on his forehead.
During that time he would often take his book and fishing pole and spend summer mornings reading and fishing off the pier of the Pavilion. One morning a man stood watching and finally asked where he could buy a fishing pole. Charles gave him directions to Oldham's Dry Goods and shared his bait with him when he returned with his cane pole. Later, back at the hotel, Charles found out the man was Lash LaRue, the cowboy movie star who used a whip instead of a gun.
His first trip overseas was with other Boy Scouts in 1951 when he attended the World Scout Jamboree held in Bad Ischl, Austria. What a thrill for a boy from a small town in Texas! Boys were there from all over the world and, because of Western movies, the Texas camp was popular with boys from other countries. Charles traded his cowboy boots for a pair of wooden shoes with a boy from Holland; we still have the shoes today. When the Jamboree was over, Charles' troop toured all over Europe, but the country he remembered best was Italy. He was excited to see Venice and enraptured by Florence's art, but nothing captivated him like Rome. He remembered every detail of his visit there. He was fortunate to be able to go back many times: one of the times he and Donna went with lifelong friends, Lois and Norris Neeley, to celebrate the Neeleys' 50th Wedding Anniversary; on another trip they celebrated the 9th birthday of their grandson, Nathaniel, the joy of Charles' life. This was a wonderful family trip with their children, Rosanette, Garth, Rovanna and her son, Nathaniel.
Charles' favorite job was in Houston at Diagnostic Center Hospital (before it became part of Methodist) where, as Director of Pharmacy, he made many lasting friendships. He also made many new friends after retirement at Memorial City Mall where he went to walk for exercise. Charles had a wonderful life. His mantra was, "I'm the luckiest man in the world." He was forever grateful to have a loving wife and loving children. He was curious, always learning and had a wonderful memory. He was our handy encyclopedia. He will be forever missed.
At their deaths, both Donna and Charles wished to be cremated, their ashes buried in the Harvey Cemetery in Broaddus where their daughter Roxanne, is buried. Charles' ashes will remain with the family until Donna's death. He will be remembered in the family home by friends and relatives on Sunday, September 7, 2014, from 2 to 4 in the afternoon.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Sept. 3, 2014