Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bill Leftwich has passed

Another friend of mine has passed. I heard last evening that Bill Leftwich died in his sleep the evening of 27 April in Fort Davis, Texas, at the age of 85. Bill was a local figure of some note in the Fort Davis community and I met him through our mutual friends, Hal and JoAnn Belknap. JoAnn passed on this sad news. [Hal died a little more than a year ago now.] Bill was a complex character and a man of few words, but easy to get to know. His likes and dislikes were evident but so was his warm heart. He had a sense of humor as dry as southwest Texas.

Bill's primary passion was art and he produced a considerable body of work as a painter, scuptor, and writer - all of it focused on themes associated with his life experiences. His home was also his studio and I was afforded the opportunity to visit with him and his wife, Mary Alice, and see many examples of his art. Bill was a proud graduate of Texas A&M University - and he remained a fiercely loyal Aggie fan right to the end. Bill also served his nation in WWII as a tank commander - he was commissioned to create a scupture of Audie Murphy for Camp Mabry, in Austin and I know he did another sculpture for his beloved Texas A&M, which I know pleased him a lot.

I'm very sorry about his loss, and know that he touched many, many people who will miss him, myself included, but I'm glad to have had the privilege to know him. My condolences to Mary Alice and the rest of Bill's family.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I happened upon your blog in doing a search for Mr. Leftwich's obituary. I too, had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Leftwich through my work with the Texas Veterans Commission. I was a female non-veteran working in a very male-dominated, veteran-only field, but the minute Mr. Leftwich noticed my gold Aggie ring on my hand, he was quick to embrace me and we formed a fast friendship, despite our 50 year age difference. I am sad to hear of his passing, but am happy to have known him. The world lost a true Aggie and American hero. God bless Bill and his family.

Anonymous said...

I am truly saddened by the loss and my heart and prayers go out to the Leftwich family. I knew Bill from childhood, spent a lot of time under his roof. I used to love to listen to him work in his shop and listen to the old country western songs he would listen to.

Happy trails - Bill till we meet again on the next trail drive in the sky! - Thomas Chappell

Anonymous said...

Bill,

I loved you and Mary Alice, i know that you can see me and you know I loved you here and now along with every one you touched and knew you are a blessed person along with your family. because all that came from you has to be perfect. Love you in memory and in heart:Tu Amigo Raul

KBCraig said...

I'm saddened to learn of Bill's passing. I found your note by searching his name, to see what had become of him.

That's because earlier today, my mother gave me several of Bill's works, including books he autographed, and a drawing that hung in my parents' home for years (of an M1A1 Abrams engaged in combat, contrasted with a horse-mounted Cavalry trooper.)

My family were close friends with Bill's sister Liz and brother-in-law Monroe Fehrenbach, after they moved to Arkansas. Billy and Mary Alice took a liking to my folks on their visits to Arkansas, and even visited a couple of times after Liz and Monroe had passed away.

God speed, Bill, and God bless, Mary Alice. Thank you for the memories.

elaine.lee said...

I, too, am saddened to learn of Mr. Leftwich's passing. He was a source of invaluable assistance as I searched for information about artist/sculptor Randy Steffen, who died in 1977. Mr. Leftwich personally wrote information about his friend Randy, Randy's work and his family, and it was only a month later that Mr. Leftwich died. Without his information it would have been much more difficult to locate pieces of Randy's work and, even his family members. It was a monumental task, even so. The personal anecdotes he wrote about Randy and himself were sincerely appreciated. Our "Steffen Sampler" of Randy's work and the salute to his campus research library, the "Steffen Collection," were successful because of Mr. Leftwich.

Sincere appreciation and thank you to Roxanna, his daughter.

Elaine F Lee,
Executive Assistant
Cisco College
Cisco, TX 76437