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Charles Edwin Grabein passed away on June 23rd in Liberty, TX at the age of 86. He was born on May 1st, 1931 to Edwin and Issa Jasper Grabein in Conroe, TX and spent his youth working alongside his father (the local Fire Chief and City Superintendent) in the fire department and other various city projects. Charles graduated from Conroe High School in 1948, attended SHSU for a year, and then proudly served the next 14 years in the U.S. Navy. In October of 1950, Charles married Carol Manos, also from Conroe. During the following 48 years, they raised five children - Jackie, Clyde, Sherrie, Wayne and Craig.

During his time with the Navy, Charles served many different roles including combat photographer. While stationed at NAS New Orleans, Charles was charged with providing entertainment for the base including designing the station golf course, operating the base movie theater, and leading several bands. One band, The Ambassadors, became quite popular in the New Orleans jazz and dance community.

Once honorably discharged from the Navy, Charles became a high school band director. He earned a degree in music education at Sam Houston State University, and taught in public schools for 33 years. Several of the schools in which he taught included Willis, Livingston, Huffman, Kennedy, Junction, and Kountze. After retiring, he volunteered in the Liberty and Dayton, TX school systems.

For the past 17 years, Charles has lived in Liberty, TX, with wife Ann Raley Daniel, who he married in the summer of 2001. He proudly helped raise her son, Will, and considered her four grown daughters his own - Patricia, Treasia, Jackie and Joanie. Charles proudly served as Sergeant At Arms for the local Rotary Club, and Commander for the Dayton Memorial American Legion Post 512. He was the director of The Invincible Eagle Community Band for several years, led his own Charlie Gray Big Band, and participated in various functions with The Valley Players. Grabein was also an aircraft pilot (often building and repairing his own planes), rebuilt WW2 Jeeps, was a musical instrument repairman for H&H Music Co., owned and operated several photography studios, was a licensed locksmith, a bona fide movie buff, a terrible fisherman, and - according to at least one source - a beast at Mexican Train Dominoes. He loved his family very much, and never met a stranger.

Memorial services will be held at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Liberty, starting 11am on July 8th, with a catered reception to follow. The graveside service will be noon on July 9th at Conroe Memorial Park. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Liberty Rotary Club in his honor. Charles Grabein is survived by his five children and their spouses, ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren as well as his wife Ann and her five children, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

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