Robert Charles ("Charlie") Joplin
Robert Charles ("Charlie") Joplin of Abilene passed away on December 12 after a lengthy battle with lung disease. Robert was born on December 3, 1940, in Fisher County, the eldest son of Maud Annis Cleveland Joplin and George Washington ("G.W.") Joplin III. He was baptized in a water tank in 1950 by the McCaulley Baptist Church. He was a fifth-generation Texan and the first generation of his family to seek career opportunities outside of farming and ranching. He was a second cousin to famed singer Janis Joplin, which was a source of pride to him as well as being a popular conversation starter.
Robert was a devoted husband to his wife of 52 years, LaNelle ("Lannie") Cole Joplin, and he was a proud and doting father to his children, teaching them important skills like how to ride a bicycle, how to drive a stick shift, and, most importantly, how to enjoy life. Robert was friendly and engaging, quick with a smile and even quicker with a handshake or a hug. He never met a stranger, and he found joy in the simplest of pleasures, whether it was a parade, a camping trip, a car show, or a chocolate shake.
Like his parents before him, Robert was an accomplished musician who took every opportunity to play music with his wife and friends, playing guitar and singing the songs of his musical heroes, such as Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, and Carl Perkins. Robert was a regular performer at the monthly Pearl Bluegrass Jam and Stage Show in Coryell County and at the monthly Old Glory Musical in Stonewall County.
As a fifth-generation Texan, it's no surprise that he also loved watching westerns, especially those of John Wayne. One of his favorite retirement activities was to play the role of gunslinger in local community re-enactments of the Old West.
Having grown up repairing tractors and other equipment on his family's cotton farm, Robert was also a talented and tireless automotive mechanic. He earned the trust and respect of customers and peers alike, many of whom became lifelong friends. He loved motorcycles, airplanes, and classic cars, spending the last few years of his life restoring a 1951 Chevy coupe to its former glory. One of his last requests was that his son drive this beautiful car to lead his funeral procession so everyone could see the fruits of his labor.
Robert is survived by his wife LaNelle ("Lannie") Joplin of Abilene, son Carroll Eugene ("Gene") Joplin of Abilene, daughter Donna Shearer of Llano, daughter Holly Joplin of Austin, adopted daughter Patti Cook of Lubbock, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and a sister, Sue Novak of Lubbock. He is preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, Harold Joplin.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 16, at 2:00 pm at Weathersbee-Ray Funeral Home in Rotan. He will be interred in the Joplin family plot of the Belvieu Cemetery in Fisher County.