Chares Edward Vessel passed away peacefully December 12. He was born in Weatherford, Texas to Captain L. Edward Vessel and Elizabeth Moody on November 25, 1947. Captain Vessel was killed in a tragic Air Force plane crash when Charles was 2 years old. Charles and his mother then moved to Big Spring, Texas to live with his grandparents. Five years later his mother married J. Fred Stitzell who was a true blessing to the 7 years old’s life. A job transfer led the family, now including a little sister, to Garland when Charles was a junior in high school. That is when he met Mary Ann Peterson at Garland High School (both Class of 1966) who became his wife August 23, 1969. The young couple first lived in Austin, Texas where Charles continued his studies at UT. In 1971 they returned to Garland where Charles worked for Austin Paving Co. as a utility construction superintendent for over 24 years after beginning as summer employment working a jack hammer. His second career was a street superintendent for the City of Richardson for over 20 years. His “retirement career” was with McManus & Johnson Engineering as a utility inspector commuting to Van Alstyne for 6 years. His many years of knowledge, experience and strong work ethic first gained at Austin Paving Co. served him well.
Throughout his life Charles made many friends because he was a kind, thoughtful, humble, generous, polite, quick-witted gentleman who loved and valued the people he met. He genuinely cared about his colleagues and friends and their families. He believed in looking people in the eyes when speaking to them, extending a firm handshake, greeting everyone with “mornin’” no matter the time of day, practicing good manners by standing when greeting a lady, opening doors for others, saying his prayers before going to sleep at night, treating others with respect and valuing and enjoying nature and life.
Together Charles and Mary Ann had one son Carl Edward and one granddaughter Cailyn Elizabeth. If you knew Charles, you already knew this. Nothing made him happier than spending time with them at their deer lease, hunting, fishing, browsing at Academy or Cabela’s, watching Cailyn play softball (or anything else she chose to do) or enjoying family dinners around their dinner table or at Dos Charros for Mexican food. He was extremely proud of his family and loved them dearly.
Aside from his wife and granddaughter the important women in his life these last years were his sister Martha Ann and cousin Sarah. Both were loving and faithful visitors especially during the last 7 months.
Charles was a good son-in-law who actually enjoyed spending time with his in-laws. He was a great help to Mary Ann as she helped her mother.
After Pete’s death in 1997 and then as caregiver 10 years ago when Jackie’s mobility became limited.
Charles was a life-long Methodist and member of First United Methodist Church Garland and sixth generation Texan being descended from the “Old Three Hundred”.
Charles is survived by his wife of 54 years Mary Ann; son Carl and daughter-in-law Michelle and granddaughter Cailyn of Wylie; sister Martha Ann Mann and husband Rick of Mesquite; niece Sarah Grady and husband Brandon of Corinth; nephew Ben Mann and wife Merritt of Dallas; cousin Sarah Moody of Richardson.
Charles will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father and “Papa” who will be missed dearly by his family and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First United Methodist Church Garland, 801 West Avenue B, Garland, Texas 75040 or to the Alzheimer’s Assoc.