Alan Caruthers

Alan Clayton Caruthers 50, of Waco, passed away on Monday, January 19, 2015, while at his residence.

Memorial Service: 11AM Saturday, January 24th at Calvary Baptist Church, 1001 N. 18th A St., Waco 76707.

Alan was born October 15, 1964 in Naples, FL to Samuel B. and Lorene (Marshall) Caruthers. . In addition to his parents, Alan leaves behind his loving wife, Laura; son, Samuel Benjamin Caruthers III; mother-in-law, Sandra Parsley; brothers, Samuel Caruthers, Jr., Joe Caruthers and wife, Kim with children, Benjamin and Sarah; sister, Carol Caruthers Haley and husband, Tom with daughter, Dori Sabella; and brother-in-law, John Parsley with daughters, Samantha and Rachael Parsley. Special family members include; John and Linda Kay, sister in law, Johnna Kay, brothers in law Jason Kay, and Justin Kay and Guadalupe Betancourt and their son, Preston; and specials friends Mike, Martha, Mikela and Kelsey Williams.

Alan was a former social worker at Methodist Children’s Home and a leader/member in NORML of Waco, the Texas Libertarian Party, and the World Hunger Farm.

Alan was proud of his status as a fifth generation Floridian and he always maintained his ties to the state. He graduated from Riverview High School where as a band member he played the trumpet. Alan continued his education by graduating from the University of South Florida and as a result of his deep faith, obtained his master’s degree in Church Social Work by attending the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky and Roberts Wesleyan University, Rochester, New York. During his undergraduate work, Alan traveled extensively with the Continentals, a Christian gospel group.

During Alan’s graduate work at Southern Baptist Seminary, he met Laura Parsley Caruthers, his loving wife of 18 years. After their marriage in 1996, they moved to Rochester, NY where Alan completed his master’s degree. Because of his desire to be involved in Christian Ministry, Alan served with The Salvation Army. His heart’s desire was to work as a Minister of Social Work in a church setting. He was afforded that opportunity when called to First Baptist Church, Waco, TX. Here, he worked with Buckner Children’s Ministries and helped establish a social work program and trained volunteers to engage in different forms of ministry. Alan went on to The Methodist Children’s Home as a Unit Manager where he applied his knowledge of working with young people in a residential setting. Here he was instrumental in starting the Grandparents as Parents Grandparents to Parent Program.

Regardless of all the accolades received during his professional career, Alan would tell you that there was no greater vocation than fatherhood. He was most proud of his son, Samuel Benjamin Caruthers, III, whom he and Laura adopted in 2005. Alan was the most loving father who instantly and forever fell in love with this child. Samuel, who is named for Alan’s beloved father and the name means “we asked God for him.” Alan poured his life into loving Samuel and was a devoted husband to Laura. He had a boisterous sense of humor, was a loyal friend to many. He had a wonderful talent for generosity to friends and strangers, alike. This talent continued even though he became ill and did not have the ability to be out and about.

Alan fought cancer for 9 years, undergoing a stem cell transplant in 2011. Even after receiving the transplant, he bravely searched to cure his disease. He endured tests, surgery and chemotherapy until his body could no longer fight. At that point, he came home from MD Anderson and was blessed with the most precious gift. This gift involved friends, family, co- workers and acquaintances visiting Alan and expressing to him what he meant in their lives. This wonderful celebration of life took place one day prior to his transition to heaven.

Alan and Laura are members of Hope Fellowship Mennonite Church. There are not sufficient words to explain the depth of love that this Body of Christ has poured out on the Caruthers family as they walked side by side every step of the way during this journey with Alan, Laura, Samuel and Sandra.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the World Hunger Farm, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or NORML of Waco.

Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online Guest Book at

Contact Information:
Lake Shore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 5201 Steinbeck Bend Dr, Waco 76708, United States (US) - Phone: (254) 752-5900

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Condolence Messages

  1. Marylea Henderson

    Laura, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Alan was surely a blessing.
    In friendship
    Currently I am in India

  2. Words can’t express how sorry I am for the profound loss you and the family are experiencing. I pray that God will comfort all of you.


  3. Alan was a great human being and I am pretty sure, is currently competing with Gabriel for first chair Trumpet!

  4. Laura, Sammy, and all of Alan’s family,
    I cannot tell you how much respect I had for Alan, and through his own journey of pain, he always was the first to comment on my troubles and offer encouragement. He had become a great friend in the 5 years I have know him, and we talked often on Facebook.

    I only met him face to face once, we had breakfast when I was working in Houston on a job. I remember it like yesterday, and how much it meant to me that he would come and meet this odd Facebook/MMJ advocate for a meal and chat. We could have talked for hours, and I wish we would have!

    We love you and pray for your family to have peace through this and know he is now pain free and looking down on you.

    Scott & Traci Snouffer

  5. Laura and Sammy, It has been a long and difficult journey and this ending and beginning feels so hard. I am praying for you for strength and peace and courage. I encourage you to capture every memory and special “Alan story” as friends and family gather to celebrate his life and mourn his death. Know that you are loved and held up prayerfully, even when you feel alone. Helen

  6. marsha (wellman) adams

    Laura, my deepest sympathy to you and Sammy. I pray for God’s grace and comfort. Wish I was there for you. Live you sweetie.

  7. Pam Marshall Fry

    Laura, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you Sammy. I can see by the gleam in your eyes and smile on your face, he will be missed greatly.

    Love ya

  8. All of us the in the world of marijuana reform activism are saddened to hear of the loss of Alan. While we appreciate all those who fight for freedom, we especially revere those who fight in the most anti-marijuana states. Alan’s activism and example as a strong respectable family man did more for the image of responsible adult cannabis consumers in Texas than any scientific study or public policy poll. Thank you, Alan, for standing up and being heard, you will not be forgotten.

  9. Alan was a great man and will be greatly missed. I fondly remember having him as a guest on my podcast and it was always wonderful visiting with Alan. My prayers are with your family.

    – Denton Ramsey
    Robinson, Texas

  10. Laura, Sammy, and family,

    Alan was God sent. I am going to miss my friend and brother. My deepest condolences. Prayers always.

  11. RIP Alan. Another great man taken too soon. Best wishes from Florida.

  12. Michelle & Rey Mancil

    Our thoughts and love are directed at you – Laura & Sammy! It is a sad time. But he is at peace. Love You! I pray the road ahead is made simple by Alan’s great love and person – his legacy.

  13. Laura and Sammy, I am so sorry to hear about Alan. I know he will be terribly missed. Praying for God’s strength and comfort as you face this loss.

  14. Randy & Pat Deering


    Sympathy sounds inadequate, empathy only works because we too have lost dear ones, Alan was such a great person – so glad to have known him, and you as well. We will miss him too – though surely not in the same way or to the extent your and Sammy do and will. You are in our hearts and prayers.

    Much love.

  15. Laura and family, I wish you love and peace and strength in this very difficult time.

  16. Laura – I am sad about Alan’s death and hold you and your family up in prayer. I am also thankful to you for sharing this journey with us with an underlying reminder of what is truly important in life. You have lost much and you have given much. I am grateful and thankful for Alan’s life and for yours. Blessings, Bethie

  17. Sonya Rawlings-Aleman

    Tightrope walker, trombone player, husband, daddy, brother, son, uncle, cousin, believer, friend….Alan will be remembered and missed by so many people. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family’s life. Love you, Laura. Lifting you and Sammy up in prayer.

  18. Susan Murray Perry

    My heart is so heavy for you and your precious son. I can only hope that you will find comfort in The Lord. You will have many difficult days ahead but I know you are peaceful in the thought that Alan’s suffering is over. Please know that I am thinking of you, Sammy, your mom and the rest of your family.
    Love you my friend, I so wish I could see you again.
    Susan Perry

  19. Laura – what a great video remembrance. With tears streaming down my face I tell you that you and Sammie will be in my thoughts and prayers for a very long time. What an infectious smile Alan had. What a wonderful loving family you three were and now the two of you will carry on Alan’s legacy. Love you my kindred sister.
    Sharon Hammond

  20. Catie Capp-Hays

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Alan’s passing. I met both you and Alan in 2006 at MCH. He taught me so much about social work. I loved hearing his stories about all of his adventures- especially his band (The Continentals, if I am not mistaken!) He truly helped me transition into the next phase of my career life. Because of Alan, I was also blessed to meet you! Laura, Alan loved both you and Samuel soo very much. I know that he is sitting in Heaven right now so happy and free of pain. What a special man, husband, and father. I will miss him dearly. Please know that your family is in my heart and prayers.

  21. My dear friend, words are never enough at this time. You, Sammy, and your entire family are in our prayers. You are one of the sweetest, loving women I know. May you, your son and family feel God’s peace and comfort not only now but years to come. With Love

  22. Laura and Sammy,

    I only met Alan while you were dating and then our ways parted. But I am amazed at how you’ve supported him through all of this. I pray your grief is full and healing comes in Gods perfect timing. I wish I could be closer to support and help you but I also know prayers do more than anything I can do. Someday Sammy and Mayne need to meet.

  23. I’m so very sorry for the loss of Allen. I have great memerories of him and have kept him and the family in my thoughts and prayers. As I pray for strength and comfor for Laura and Sameul as well as all the family. Allen was a great man with a heart of gold and loved his family’s beyond words. Continued thoughts and prayers for all…..

  24. Laura,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray that all the wonderful memories you have of Alan comfort you and Samuel during this difficult time.

  25. Laura,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray that all the wonderful memories of Alan comfort you and Samuel during this difficult time.

  26. Laura,
    I was so shocked when Robin called to give me the sad news. You and Sammy are in the loving arms of God and I know He will continually comfort and provide for you. I’m so sorry for your great loss.
    Janet Grams

  27. I am so sorry for your loss. I remember not long ago, Alan and I worked together on our road clean up project for NORML. It was a blast and we had a good time laughing and fellowshipping. Time went by quickly that day. Now,I wish it had lasted just a little longer. You all will forever remain linked to our family and be in our thoughts and prayers.

  28. Laura—I was looking for the obituary of someone else I knew and was shocked to see Alan’s obituary as well. I had thought he had “beat” the cancer. He was such an amazing and funny guy. I found him totally inspirational when we met at the Advocacy Center (it seems like yesterday, but it also seems like a hundred years ago). You were such a sweet couple, i can hardly think of you without him by your side. I am sorry for the loss you are feeling as I know you miss him dearly…but I have every confidence that he continues to watch over you and Sammy—and that your love is eternal and you will rejoice when you see each other again. With all my heart I wish you well—Robin Mayfield

  29. Laura and Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. There are no words that can express how special Alan was to others and the warmth and love he shared just by his presence. May God carry you through this very hard time and may you know others out there are praying for you peace, understanding, and comfort. May he rest in God’s loving hands. Peace be with you Laura. Sending my love, Esme

  30. Sweet Laura… My thoughts and prayers are with you and Sammy. Alan was a wonderful man and I was blessed to know him. I know he is at peace now after his difficult fight. God bless you.

  31. Sweet Laure. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Sammy. Alan was a wonderful man . I was blessed to know him. I know he is at peace after his difficult fight.
    God bless you.

  32. Laura, I am saddened to hear about Alan’s passing, I know Alan is free from the pain and looking over you and Sammy from Heaven. Everything about him was exhibited in his love of life through his love of Christ as husband and devoted father. I have always thought of the two of you as an inspiration to all who know you. You are friend and a gift in this life. Many blessings and love to you and Sammy as you remember your life together with Alan. My prayers have and will continue to include you as you walk through this time. Carol

  33. Laura, Alan has to be the most precious and loving dad I have ever met in my 52 years of childcare. He loved Sammy so much and I remember the day he came to visit to talk to me about caring for Sammy . I loved every minute visiting with him because he truly was so involved in finding a place for his new baby son. I will always cherish that first visit with him and all the years I cared for his son. Prayers and blessings to you and Sammy. I love you.

  34. love you all.

  35. Laura and Sammy,

    Alan was the 1st person to disciple me as a newly committed Christian. He took the time for me. Through the years, we could pick up right where we left off with jokes or continued growth in Christ. He went home before me, and part of me is jealous, but I know that God has something more for me (and you and Sammy) to do. My love and prayers are with you and Sammy – thank you for sharing Alan with the world for many years.

  36. Carmen and Dan Wilson

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all Laura, Sandra and Samuel. Good bless you all in the days ahead . Alan rests peacefully in heaven and I know you find comfort in that . He had a life well lived .

  37. Laura and Sammy.. I pray for peace for you and Sammy. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts, love and prayers are with you and your family. May God Bless You.

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