Charles Edward “Chile” Alborn, 91, went to be with the Lord on May 29, 2008 after courageously battling a lengthy illness. To the end, Chile maintained the love for his family, interest in others, dignity, sharp wit, and keen intellect that were the hallmark of his long and happy life. Funeral services to honor Chile’s life will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 2 in the Chapel of Dorman Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be Rev. Danny Gilliam and Chaplain Kevin Trinkle. Military honors and interment will follow at King Cemetery in Hartburg. Military honors will be provided by the Southeast Texas Veterans Service Group. A gathering of family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., Sunday, June 1, at the funeral home.

Chile was born March 5, 1917, in Longville, La., to Charles O. and Henrietta (Morrill) Alborn. At the age of 12, the family moved to Orange. Chile graduated from Orange High and worked in the family business until 1941 when he was called to serve his country in World War II, Company A, First Battalion, 63rd Infantry, Regiment 6 Infantry Division. As he did in everything, Chile excelled in the military starting as platoon leader and subsequently assuming the position of company commander which, despite the fact that they were outnumbered three to one, persevered and played a critical role in liberating the Philippines from Japan. During his service, he was responsible for the administration, training and tactical employment of the unit in combat which included 190 officers and enlisted men. Chile received commendations of a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement, with Oak Leaf Cluster and a Purple Heart for an injury during war.

Upon returning to Orange, Chile met and married Mildred Ellis and they raised five children together. In addition to being devoted to his wife and children, he also found time to serve as Little Cypress School Board Trustee from 1958 until 1970, served his church as Deacon, Director of Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Lighting, Sound and Transportation. He also was an active member of the Lion’s Club.

Chile and Mildred were happily married for 30 years and enjoyed many memories until her death March 6, 1977.

Chile retired from Dupont after 33 years of service as a production foreman. He was also an entrepreneur and an inventor.

When he married Jo Ann Melton (Conway), to whom he was married for 30 years until his death, the two began one of his favorite pastimes, traveling in the trusty RV. The family shared many laughs hearing of the couple’s stories of their travels throughout the United States. He and Jo Ann also had the opportunity to enjoy a month long trip to the Philippines to commemorate that country’s 55 year anniversary of liberation from Japan. When he received a dire prognosis in August 2007, Chile decided it was time to take a trip to Eureka Springs, Ark. He personified the adage that you cannot control some things that happen to you in life, but you can control how you handle them.
Chile will always be remembered for his quick wit, dry sense of humor, keen intellect, his devotion to his family, interest in others, love of life, strong moral fiber and his steadfast Christian faith. He was a blessing and joy to all who knew him. He was the ‘greatest’ of the Greatest Generation.

Chile was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Mildred; his brother, Gus Alborn; granddaughter, Denise Carnley; and son-in-law, Jimmy West.

Those who will most cherish his memory are his wife, Jo Ann; his sons, David Carnley, Michael Carnley and wife Frances, Larry Melton and partner Della Hutchison; daughters, Mary West, Susan McKay and husband Mark, Deborah Rawls, Lauryi Knowles and husband Kevin, Sue Landry and husband Michael, sister, Ruth Wright and husband Melton; grandchildren, Theresa Henderson and husband Brian, David Carnley II, Angela Torgesen and husband Jay, Jeff Book and wife Becky, Jared Carnley and wife Laine, Gary Wade Carnley, Ben McKay, Garrett Robbins and wife Jessica, Jon Knowles and wife Amy, Shonda Robbins and partner Ian Alvarez, Jesse Rawls, Laura Rawls, Taylor Melton and Callie Melton; 11 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and best friend, Jack Peveto.

Chile’s family wishes to express its sincerest thanks to Southeast Texas Hospice in Orange for their care of Chile during his final days. For those desiring memorial contributions, please make a donation in Chile’s memory to Southeast Texas Hospice, Post Office Box 2385, Orange, Texas 77631-2385. Condolences may be sent to the family at or