Family and friends are going to miss one of the devoted citizens of Ellis County. Charlie E. Pace crossed the great divide at 9:31 a.m. on Sunday morning, Jan. 18, 2009, with his wife at his side holding his hand. Before he slipped away he had time to tell his sweetheart that he loved her and to wave to his daughter. He fought a good fight spiritually and physically against the dread disease of hepatitis C.

Charlie E. Pace was born Sept. 5, 1923, to the Rev. J.V. and Bernice Pace in Somervell County, Texas. He was married Aug. 18, 1953, at University Assembly of God Church to the love of his life, Evelyn Vaden. To this union was born one daughter, Janis Gail Pace, who is currently an associate professor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

He was a faithful member of University Assembly of God Church in Waxahachie from 1956 to present where he served as Sunday school superintendent, directed devotions for the adult department, served as a board member, head usher, visitation and hospital outreach ministries. Charlie also served as district light for the Lost Director for more than 17 years.  He traveled extensively promoting banquets to raise money for literature for missionaries to use, especially in foreign lands. He was truly a “Soldier of the Cross.”

He started working in the grocery business at age 14. He then was called into the service for his country during World War II in 1943. He served in the 78th Infantry, 311 Regiment in the European Theater – Battles and Campaigns – Ardennes -– Rhineland (Hurtgen Forest Battle). After his return home, he resumed his grocery work and retired from Kroger Food Company, after 33 1/2-years, in January 1986.

He last worked at Wayne Boze Funeral Home, where he served until his health no longer permitted him to do so.

Charlie was an active member of his community. His service was for “God and Country.” He served as Ellis County Christian Men’s Fellowship president, post commander of the JoVan Marchbanks American Legion Post No. 137, American Legion member for 63 years, member of the zoning board of adjustment for the city of Waxahachie, member of the Texas State Guard for 25 years, retiring as a lt. colonel. He also was a charter member of the Waxahachie Kiwanis Club and a life member of the VFW.

He loved spending time with his family, keeping a well-groomed lawn, watching the Rangers and going to a good rodeo. Going to Whataburger to visit with his many friends and neighbors was often the highlight of his day. His motto was “If you cannot say something good about someone, just do not say anything.”

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Evelyn Vaden Pace; and his “Angel” daughter, Janis Gail Pace. He is also survived by two brothers, Verdie Pace and wife Wynell of Burleson, Texas, Marlin Pace and wife Doris of Brenham, Texas; two sisters, Joy Pace Mann of Lakewood, Colo., and Eva Dell Pace of Frederick Md.; brother-in-law, Denver Adams of Burleson; sister-in-law, Grace Vaden Schumacher of Seymour, Texas;  many much loved nieces, nephews, and cousins; and special friends, Eldon and Betty Conrad and Garland and Rebecca Walker.

He was preceded in death by his parents, the Rev. J.V. and Bernice Pace; two sisters, Nevalene Pace Howard and Oleta “Bootsie” Pace Adams; and niece Doris Howard Patterson.

Pallbearers include Larry Pace, Mike Pace, Jimmy Pace, Darren Adams, Tommy Howard, and Mike Howard. Honorary pallbearers include Eldon Conrad, James Barnes, Floyd Bates Sr., Earl Roberts, Lloyd Stone and Larry Wallace.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at Wayne Boze Funeral Home. The celebration of the life of Charlie E. Pace will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, at University Assembly of God Church, Waxahachie. Interment will follow at Waxahachie City Cemetery.

The family has requested donations be made to University Assembly of God Church, 221 Solon Road, Waxahachie, TX 75165 or the American Red Cross blood banks.

Arrangements are under the direction of Wayne Boze Funeral Home.