William Henry Seeker, Jr.
Bill Seeker died peacefully on July 5, 2020; surrounded by family in the place he loved the most, the Seeker Ranch in Prairie Lea, Texas. He was born on October 21, 1926 in Wichita Falls, Texas to William Henry and Lena Fehler Seeker. He is survived by four sons: Steve, Randy, David and Chris and their loving wives: Donna, Karen, Sandy, and Ann, as well as fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
He grew up in Wichita Falls, and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. Being too young to join the military, Bill enlisted in the Merchant Marines and accompanied ships to Mediterranean seaports. After the war, he returned to Wichita Falls and went to work sweeping floors at Jones and Laughlin Steel (J&L) Oil Field Supply Division for Joe Don Carlos, husband of the person the family knew as Aunt Sis. Aunt Sis introduced Bill to her sister Pearl’s daughter, Betty Louise Allen, who lived in California. After Betty returned from a visit to Wichita Falls, Bill bought a Plymouth convertible and drove to California to visit Betty and meet her family. They were married on February 12, 1949 in Wichita Falls. Betty was the love of his life and he cherished her throughout their 70-year marriage.
With promotions and transfers, their growing family lived in Big Spring, Snyder and many years in Hobbs, New Mexico, where Bill served as J&L district manager and Betty was a registered nurse, frequently working the 3pm-11pm shift. Together, they coordinated a magnificent tag team raising their four sons. The family frequently took camping vacations to Arizona, California, and one very memorable driving trip from New Mexico to Seattle in the family station wagon. Bill had many interests including tennis, woodworking, beekeeping, bird hunting and fishing. He loved to take care of his outdoor property. The front yard was usually a football field for the neighborhood, but the backyard was a paradise of brickwork, tree houses, and gardens. Bill retired from J&L in Odessa, Texas, and later went to work as Vice President of Desert Energy in Odessa.
In 1996, Ann and Chris Seeker purchased the Seeker Ranch, and Bill and Betty moved to the property from Odessa. Bill served as an extraordinary ranch manager and foreman and Betty assisted with every variety of ranch activity. Their time in Prairie Lea, spanning 23 years, completed the last chapter of their lives, helping to grow the ranch to a sprawling 4 square mile enterprise on the San Marcos river, with cattle, horses, pecan trees and crops. The Seeker Ranch became a gathering place, welcoming family and friends while creating treasured memories and sacred moments. Thanksgiving at the “Big House” was a favorite family tradition and will continue long after Bill and Betty’s passing, as a tribute to their legacy.
Bill lost his beautiful wife, Betty, in August 2019. In the last years of Betty’s life, Bill lovingly cared for her, in addition to running the ranch. They were both determined to spend their last days on the ranch; in the place they truly loved. And so they did. Bill now joins Betty, together forever again.
A private family burial will be held on Saturday July 11, 2020. A memorial service will be announced at a future date. To the family and friends who have loved Bill and Betty, generously offering countless blessings to their lives, thank you for such heartfelt kindness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Prairie Lea Baptist Church or Serenity Hospice of Bastrop.