Although cliché, I must say; Charles never met a stranger. He was a king to his queen, a daddy to his children, an “OG” to the young and a general in the body of Christ. He laughed heartily and marched to the beat of his own drum. He never hesitated to tell anyone who would listen, how much he loved his wife, how good God is and how the Lord Jesus Christ consistently blesses him and his family.
Charles LaDay was born in Port Arthur, TX on December 13, 1949 to the late Willie and Mabel LaDay. His mom was a homemaker and his dad was a mechanic. It is no wonder that as a teenager Charles developed a love for cars and took auto mechanic shop in school.
He landed his first job at a local car dealership at the age of 15 after getting to know the owner when he purchased his first car at 13 years young. Although Charles drove the car home with much excitement, his parents did not share his excitement and he was very disappointed that his car was returned.
Shortly after high school Charles joined the Army and was immediately sent to Vietnam for two years in 1969. He diligently served in the military, quickly made sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1971. One of the first things Charles purchased upon his return to civilian life in Port Arthur was the car that he desired. He began using his trade to make a living as an auto mechanic.
Charles moved to Houston in 1976 and began working as a master mechanic for the Houston Fire Department and later as a heavy equipment mechanic at Summit Equipment.
One evening while renting movies from Blockbuster video, Charles met and later married the love of his life, Cynthia Johnson-LaDay. They successfully blended and built a godly family life that brought them both great joy.
In 1998, both Charles and Cynthia joined New Light Church, under the dynamic leadership of Bishop I.V. and Pastor Bridget Hilliard. Charles served diligently on his post for over 20+ years as part of the Ushers’ Excellence Team Ministry of Helps and Prison Excellence Team Ministry of Helps.
Charles also took great pride in serving as a contracted mechanic during heightened war times in Iraq for 4 years from 2006 – 2008 ; and, again from 2009 to 2011. He also traveled the world extensively and many times Cynthia would meet him to enjoy exotic vacations.
Charles is survived by his loving wife of 25+ years, Cynthia Johnson-LaDay, three children: Charlene L. LaDay-Hill – Kingston, NY(husband, Herbert); Charles Hillary LaDay – Houston, TX; and Travis Lamar LaDay – Houston, TX; three grandchildren: Herbert D. Hill Jr., Lawand M. Hill and Sonnier LaDay.
He also has three surviving siblings: Mirinda Jacko (Wes); Terry Mitchell; and, Ann Williams; a special aunt, Lillie Mae Howard; and a host of nieces and nephews.