William “Bill” Lummus
William Edward “Bill” Lummus was born on May 3, 1919, in Texarkana, Texas. He passed away on Dec. 13, 2010. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Belle Lummus Whitley and Joseph Lummus, and his sisters Nadine Lummus, Mrs. Merle Danz and Mrs. Jesse Fawver.
Bill enlisted in the Army Air Corp, which became the US Air Force, at the onset of WWII. His career as an Air Fo
rce photographer took him to Hollywood, where he photographed the stars of screen and radio to publicize the push for War Bond sales in World War II. Later, he photographed the Air Force officers and the movie stars who portrayed them on screen. President John F. Kennedy was another of the famous who posed for a photograph, along with stars like Joan Crawford, Rock Hudson, Mickey Rooney and many others.
After retiring with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant, a new career presented itself. Texas Parade Magazine asked him to do the photographs for a story on the Astrodome in Houston, a revolutionary new concept in sports venues. He took shots of the huge dome while hanging from the cockpit of a small plane. His photographs of flowers and Texas scenes made the magazine”s cover many times. His posters of the University of Texas Tower lit with the Big One on its side in celebration of the University of Texas”s National Football Championship are still a sought after item of Texas fans and alums. Bill”s enthusiasm for Texas football was well known, and he frequently took shots of the players in action.
He became acquainted with Bill Little, Sports Information Director at UT who on many occasions gave Bill passes to shoot from the sidelines. What happened next was one for the books! Bill was focusing his shots but did not see the play coming right at him. He was hit by a scrum of players who almost knocked him out of the stadium. Viewed by a television audience of millions, he crashed over other photographers and equipment landing several feet from the impact point. His zest for the game undiminished, he checked to see if he missed the shot.
Another chapter of his life was filled with paintings of the scenes of his beloved Texas Hill Country. Many of his painting were displayed in the Scott and White Clinic in Cedar Park, Texas.
He was a member of the Hill City Masonic Lodge # 456 and recently received the 50th Year of Masonic Service Award.
Bill Lummus is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jeanne Lummus; son, Michael and wife, Karen Lummus; Linda and Greg Perry; and Gayle and Preston Carlton. He leaves four grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren who loved him dearly and who regarded him as the only great-grandfather they ever knew.
He leaves the example of unwavering commitment and loyalty to his family and friends and the record of the beauty he captured with his camera and his paintings. It is a proud legacy and the record of a life well-lived.
Graveside services were scheduled at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, at the Union Chapel Cemetery in Van, Texas.
Arrangements under the direction of Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home, Pflugerville, Texas.