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Charles left Texas for a better place unexpectedly last Sunday. He was doing some of the things he loved to do just the day before, driving his tractor, planning a dove hunt & drinking a cold beer with his son, Michael. He will be remembered for his passion for hunting, flying across the water in his jet boat & the love he shared with family, friends & his pets.
Charles was born in Haskell Texas on August 2nd, 1947, to Charlie & Lillie Urban. He was raised on the family farm where his grandparents worked tirelessly over the years. Later on, in the mid 50’s, Charlie & Lillie would move to Azle, Texas to start a new life for the family. Charlie stepped away from the plow & started his new career of carpentry as a home builder. Lillie took care of Charles & things at home during the day, always making sure there was a warm home cooked meal on the table.
When Charlie wasn’t hammering nails, he & Charles would be off hunting birds with his dog, Skippy, fishing & working around the shop. Charles attended school in Azle & graduated in May of 1965. He attended business school for a couple of years studying computer science. In 1966 he was introduced to a young beauty named Brenda Colvin. Their mutual friends David & Linda Hames thought it might be a match made in heaven. As it turned out, they thought so too & married that same year.
In 1967, Charles went into basic training at Lackland Airforce Base. He then went on to serve in the Air Force reserves based at Carswell for another 4 years. After that, he spent a couple of years working at General Dynamics in Fort Worth.
In 1968, Charles & Brenda made their first big purchase together, buying a house on Ivy Hill Ct. in Lake Worth. Two years later on November 15, 1970, they would bring a baby boy into the world. Michael was their pride & joy. It’s speculation whether this boy was too much of a handful or if it was just simple economics, but the buck stopped there.
In the early 70’s, Charles would follow in Charlie’s footsteps & together they built many homes over the years. Keep in mind this was back in the day before nail guns, laser levels & Genie lifts. But rest assured, those houses are all still standing strong today. Charles later took his building experience & moved on to commercial construction while working as a superintendent for several big companies. One of his projects that he completed in the late 70’s, the Comanche County Telephone building, is just right up the road from his residence. Michael still remembers the joy of getting to go to work with Dad on occasion at that particular site. He said, “Dad would put me to work doing odds & ends for a little bump in the weekly allowance”.
Over the years Charles worked hard & tried to balance his career with family life & hobbies. He, Charlie, Michael & friends never missed opening day of dove season. They heated up the barrels many a time at the Taylor Ranch in Weatherford & Joe’s in Old Glory. Charles loved to deer hunt, fish & just about anything that got him outdoors. He & the family enjoyed countless trips to the mountains, lakes & ocean. They would drive the K5 Blazer to Ouray Colorado & take the offroad mountain pass over to Telluride. It was always a thrill to cross Black Bear peak at 12,800 feet. That Rocky Mountain high was as close as he ever got to Heaven until now.
One particular passion that consumed a lot of weekends was Charles’ love for the water. This was something that his Dad passed down as he used to build & race old wooden boats on lake Stamford. So, in 1978, he found a deal he just couldn’t pass up on a 1976 Taylor SS jet boat. He loved skiing, riding the tube & ripping up the water with family & friends. There was always competition with his buddies Rod Jeton & Alan Brannon to see who had the faster boat. That’s why he & Michael were always tearing the motor down, attempting to squeeze a few more miles per hour out of that 455 Oldsmobile. Later, Charles became good friends with Mike Bridges Sr. Mike had a pretty fast v-bottom with a 392 hemi. Together, they continued the competition on the lake & enjoyed each other’s company throughout the years.
To this day, Michael appreciates all the time they spent together turning wrenches & working around the house to keep things going without having to call the repair man. There wasn’t much Charles couldn’t fix, repair or construct. Michael thanked him many times over the years because he really wanted his Dad to know how much he appreciated being able to “do things himself”.
Later in life, after the passing of Pam Urban, Charles would meet another special person. He fell in love with Brenda Fingleman in 2015. They married on December 11, 2016 & bought a house just North of Comanche in Downing near Proctor Lake. Together, they worked to make improvements around the house & on the 19 acres of pecan plantation. As usual, there were always things to fix & build. Luckily, Brenda was a good student as Charles taught her a lot & she was always a big help. Charles got his deer hunting spot all set up & had a pretty good fishing hole right down the road thanks to his friend Ronnie Robinson. In 2018, they constructed a workshop together with the help of Michael & some good friends. Everything was working out like they planned.
The adventures continued with many more lake trips on the jet boat, as Charles was able to keep it going all this time (It’s nearly 50 years old now). They enjoyed many vacations together including trips to Galveston, tubing on the Comal, a road trip to Florida, & another trip to Colorado where they rode the train from Durango to Silverton.
Melanoma struck again & Charles put up the good fight. Just last Friday he got up & around telling Brenda “He had things to do.” Charles spent time with Michael & Brenda last Saturday doing some chores & visiting. On Sunday, the fight proved to be too much, so Charles pulled off the gloves & said goodbye. He will be missed, but we’ll always remember the good times.
Charles is preceded in death by his parents, Charlie & Lillie Urban, along with several uncles, aunts & cousins.
Charles is survived by his son Michael & wife Kendra Urban, wife Brenda Urban, Emily & Tyler Howle with children Madison & Conner, Krista & Stephen Colby with children Brandon & Hailey, Joe & Johnny Stulir & Don Urban.
The Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Stephenville Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday July 15th at 11:00 AM, located at 120 W South Loop, Stephenville, TX 76401.