Charles B. Wilson
Charles Burton Wilson, loving husband, Father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, beloved by a host of family and friends, passed away in Houston, Texas on Saturday, January 2, 2021. Leaving his earthly home, he went to be with his Heavenly Father. Charles was blessed with a long, happy and healthy life, a wry but affectionate sense of humor, and a natural love of people. Known as Charles, Charles Burton, Charlie, Dad, or Granddaddy, he was definitely unforgettable.
Born to Porter H. Wilson and Louise Tanner Wilson on February 2, 1924 in Gainesville, Texas, Charles grew up in Fort Worth. He attended McLean Jr. High and graduated from R.L. Paschal High School in 1941. Many will remember him as the young boy soprano, "Charles Burton", mascot and live radio featured singer of The Lightcrust Doughboys - who introduced the music genre of the Texas Western Swing Band and is currently billed as "The Longest-running Band in the History of Recorded Music". Charles gained an enjoyable degree of popularity throughout the southwest in the late 1930's.
He moved to Houston in 1941 to begin studies in the School of Architecture at The Rice Institute, now Rice University. When World War II interrupted, he proudly served as officer and pilot of B-25 medium bombers in the United States Air Corps, Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Resuming his studies in the fall of 1946, he also resumed his courtship of Katheryne Waldron of Fort Worth. They married in August, 1948. Houston was home for the next 72 years.
At Rice, Charles established lasting friendships with two classmates, Edmund Langwith and Robert L. King, resulting in the 1956 founding of the architectural firm Langwith, Wilson, and King, from which Charles retired in 1998. They left a legacy, along with many residential and commercial projects, of several thriving architectural firms.
Charles' central focus in life was devotion and love for his expanding family, enjoying all its joys and challenges. He was a longtime member of Tallowood Baptist Church, serving in leadership roles on the Building Committee and as a member of the Adult Choir. In his "golden years", he enjoyed greatly his service and friendships as a member of the Docent Organization of Bayou Bend in Houston.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife of 60 years, Katheryne, and his sister Jean Wilson Baldwin. Charles is survived by son Chuck and wife Patti Ardoin Wilson of Houston, daughter Karen and husband Wayne Klotz of Houston, daughter Mary Jean and husband Bill Walton of San Jose, California, daughter Martha Smith of Houston, and daughter Ann and husband Scott Farrimond of San Antonio. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 8 grandchildren-in-law, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Contributions in Charles' memory may be made to Tallowood Baptist Church Library, Tallowood Music Ministry, and Bayou Bend.
A memorial service is to be conducted at the Tallowood Baptist Church Worship Center, 555 Tallowood Road in Houston - date and time soon to be determined.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Jan. 10, 2021.