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Charlie Melvin Laurence Jr., (C.M.), 85 years old, of Abilene, TX, went to be with his Lord and Savior on December 29, 2020.

C. M. was born in Archer City, Texas, to Charlie Melvin Laurence and Carolyn Margarite Laurence on February 17, 1935. He moved to Abilene as a teenager and was a proud member of the Abilene High Eagles varsity football team. He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Joe Pride, on January 6, 1952. They went on to build a beautiful life and family, sharing 69 years of marriage. After graduating high school, C. M. worked at Mead’s Bakery for two years before taking a job at Service Parts, which led him into a successful career traveling around Texas as a manufacturing rep for Felpro.

C. M. was a devout and faithful Christian. He was an active member of the First Christian Church in Abilene for 67 years, where he taught adult Sunday school, served as a deacon and then elder, eventually receiving the title of Elder Emeritus for his service to the church. C. M.’s other great passion was sports. He coached his sons’ baseball teams from pee wee until high school and loved to cheer his grandsons and granddaughters on from the stands. He was a lifelong Astros fan, and watched all of their games (even back when they were the Colt 45’s!). He also enjoyed watching the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and Texas Longhorns.

C. M. never met a stranger. He could strike up long conversations (“better grab a Snickers!” he’d joke). He looked forward to coffee with his buddies several mornings per week at Whataburger. C. M. had an ornery streak and a keen sense of humor, which made time spent with him lots of fun. His grandkids would affectionately say, “there ain’t nobody like our Papaw,” to which he would flash his biggest smile.

C. M. was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Bobbie Lou Byerly, Elizabeth Polk, and Martha Jo Lawler; sister in law Carol (Mike) McKinney; a niece, Judy Freeman; and a daughter in law, Judy Laurence.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; two sons, Bill Laurence and David (Beth) Laurence; two daughters, Carolyn (Bill) Webb and Cheralyn Bell; sister in law, Judy (Lloyd) Ivy; 10 grandchildren, Coty, Justin, and Jim Bell, Whitney Hightower, Austin and Hunter Laurence, Betsy Gragg, Will Laurence, Jennigale and Billy Webb, 11 great grandchildren, as well as other loving cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family extends our sincere thanks to Dr. Nancy Daggubati who was C. M.’s cardiologist for more than 20 years, as well as Dr. Hudman, Clay Bulls, PA, and the nursing staff at Hendrick Medical Center South ICU for their care and compassion during C. M.’s final days.

A private service will be held at 11:00 AM on January 9 at Hamil Family Funeral Home Chapel. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Breakfast on Beech Street or First Christian Church of Abilene.