W.K. "Bill" Leech quietly passed away on Feb. 15, 2014. To honor his wishes, a private burial will be performed. The family has requested in lieu of flowers donations to the West Texas Rehab Hospital at 4601 Hartford St., Abilene, TX 79605.
Bill was a man who was as proud of his middle name as he was of his last name. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Eloise (Kouns) Leech, his brother, James, and his daughter, Kathleen.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sue Loveless Leech, and her loving family, Brandi Terry (Randy) and sons, nieces, Melissa Leech (Victor) and Moira James (Rick); goddaughter, Lisa Slate, and numerous cousins and friends. He will be especially missed by his best friends Dick "Gunner" Gunlogson (Janice) and Toby Coleman (Allison).
Bill grew up in Weatherford, Texas. He was proud of his high school education from Weatherford High School and though he never went to college he never stopped learning. He made it a point to encourage every kid he met to go to college.
Bill's successful career started as a welder "hanging iron." He started his own business, Leech Industries, building overhead bridge cranes and had customers throughout the United States. During this time he discovered his other true loves, flying and big game hunting on the North American continent. His friendships with fellow hunters and pilots are too numerous to count.
Bill's greatest passion was hunting North American Wild Sheep. He was an accomplished hunter with three grand slams. Some of his other trophies included musk ox, grizzly bear, and most importantly, the great white polar bear he proudly displayed in the front window of his home when he lived in Arlington.
In 1981 Bill and a small group of hunters joined forces and created an organization for the conservation of the North American Wild Sheep. This organization became known as the Texas Bighorn Society and with the help and support from hunters and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department the Desert Bighorn has been reestablished in the state of Texas.
Bill had a heart as big as Alaska and a love for kids that never ended. He was an avid supporter of the Big Brothers & Sisters of Arlington during the 1970s and was a major sponsor of the annual Big Brothers & Sisters Celebrity Golf Tourney. Each year he would donate a pair of handmade Alligator boots, which he personally hunted for the auction. All proceeds went to this charity.
After retirement Bill moved west where his roots had always been. He became a rancher and worked the K/L Ranch from sun up to sun down, but he always made time for helping the kids who lived and loved the ranching life.
He helped coordinate and create the Stephens County Sheriff Posse and this group of men sponsored the Young Cowboys Ranch Rodeo. This rodeo soon became a highlight event in the spring and fall and kids from all over gathered their team for fun competition in the rodeo arena. The most challenging and fun event always turned out to be the goat roping.
Bill never did care for the limelight, so he has chosen to just move on quietly. He was a man with strong Christian values. He was a man that generously gave back to others. Bill Leech has left us with some big boots to fill.