Charles Laas Beken went to be with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 at the age of 91. Charles was born on Dec. 10, 1927 in Yorktown, Texas to Charles Gerhardt and Elvie Laas Beken.
After serving in the US Army as an aircraft mechanic where he attained the rank of Corporal, he married his wife of 51 years, Katherine Pearl Hoehne.
Together, they raised their two daughters, Tammy (Guenther) and Laura (Benavides) in Premont, Texas where Charles worked as a Customer Accounts Supervisor for Central Power and Light Company for over 25 years. In Premont, he served as President of the local chapter of the Lions Club and Treasurer for the Salvation Army and was also on the Board of Directors of the First United Methodist Church in Premont.
Charles’ main focus in life was his family. He spent many hours taking care of his home in Premont and his parents’ home in Yorktown and maintaining the lawns and doing anything else that was needed. He was never too busy to lend a hand to a friend or do something special for his family. He could fix or build anything! If Pearl needed to have the garden tilled, he tilled it. If a repair was needed, he would repair it. If someone needed a special picture frame or a bookshelf or anything, he could build it! He could work circles around people who were half his age. In fact, he could still be seen putting in a day’s work in his yard when he was in his late 80’s! One time during the Summer Olympics, Tammy had been watching the gymnastics competition on TV and she asked him to build a set of uneven parallel bars for her Barbies. He stopped what he was doing and in no time at all, Barbie was winning a gold medal on the apparatus he built out of a couple of broom sticks and wooden dowels! In fact, he built it so well, it still stands today! Because of his amazing design and building skills, Tammy and Laura had the best backyard in town. He built an amazing tree house complete with a stairwell and a zip line that extended from a platform he built high up in a tree down to the ground. One time, he bought a plain cargo van that only had two seats in the front. He converted it to an RV complete with seating for four, bunk beds, a bathroom and kitchen. It even had a TV which was unheard of in those days! He took his family on many adventures to amazing places such as Colorado, Yellowstone National Park, Florida and Tennessee. Once the family outgrew the van, they graduated up to a travel trailer that was taken on many exciting trips.
Perhaps one of the most visited places for the Beken Family was Padre Island. The RV park across from Bob Hall Pier was frequently visited. One memorable and fun activity was jumping into our two person raft and having Daddy pull us through the surf out past the pier. Apparently, rip tides and Great White Sharks didn’t exist back then because everyone survived!
In 1999, Charles and Pearl moved to New Braunfels in order to be closer to their grandchildren. They were devoted grandparents who attended soccer, baseball, basketball and volleyball games. They also attended band concerts, dance recitals, parades and plays the grandkids were in.
Christmas was always a special time where they made sure that everyone’s Christmas wishes came true. Easter was also special with Easter nests filled with wildflowers from the yard, and Easter egg and scavenger hunts and cascarones.
Charles was fondly known by many names-Daddy to his daughters Tammy and Laura, Bubba to his sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews, P-Pa and Pa Po to his grandchildren and Charley L to his Army buddies.
Irregardless of his name, everyone had the same opinion of Charles Beken. He was a trustworthy friend to all and a family man who could always be counted on to be upbeat and happy no matter what. He will be remembered for his funny jokes and playfully teasing anyone he met. Most of all, Charles Beken leaves a legacy we can all be proud of. His mark on this world will last forever!
He will be missed by everyone, especially his daughters, Tammy Guenther of New Braunfels, Texas and Laura Benavides of Buda, Texas, son-in-laws Paul Guenther and Dennis Benavides and his four grandchildren, Aspen and Cypress Guenther and Robin and Lukemajor Benavides.
The Beken Family would like to express their sincere thanks to Charles’ caregivers, Patricia, Carmen, Martha, Adeline, Sarah and Eric along with the staff of HomeInstead Senior Care.
Services will held on Thursday, Nov. 21 at Zoeller Funeral Home in New Braunfels, Texas. Public Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Funeral Services will begin at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park.