"If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back to you it is yours.
If it does not, it was never meant to be."

C.M. Paula Co.

That little verse embodies Bill's greatest gift to me - freedom.
I have given much thought to what I might say about
him, but perhaps the best lens through which you can
view him is by a series of vignettes.

Bill holding a little bird

One of his finest qualities is his gentle compassion for
animals. The night we found two abandoned kittens on a
bridge in the mist, Bill picked them up and we took them
home for our first pets.

When Fuzz became badly infested with worms, it was Bill
who nursed him back to health.

The morning Colonel was trapped across the creek by flood-
ing, it was Bill who made several trips around to the other
side, calling until the drenched and badly frightened cat
came and leaped into his waiting arms.

One winter morning Bill found a tiny bird lying on our
front porch unable to move because ice had imobilized its
wings. Bill brought it in, tenderly held it near the heater
until the ice melted, then put it in the garage until it was
able to fly out into the sunshine unhurt.

Bill is the best judge of character I have ever known. This
ability to intuitively size up a person was a great asset
while he was working for Skelly 011 Company as personnel
 director. He was very rarely ever wrong in his evaluation
 of an individual.

Bill has always been slow to criticize and is loyal even in
the face of overwhelming odds.

He participates in our church, having served on several
boards and as a Sunday School teacher. Active in com-
munity affairs, he served one year as president of the Top
O' Texas Knife & Fork Club and as president of the Pampa
Rotary Club where he has established a 26 year perfect
attendance record.

His favorite song is "I Believe".'Our" song from the 40's is
"Amapola - My Pretty Little Poppy".

There is no way I could ever have deserved a life partner
like Bill, but I thank God daily for bringing us together.

Thanksgiving Song

I will take the days we shared
Our whole life long
And weave from them a hymn of praise -
A glad thanksgiving song.

Our joys will be the melody,
Tears the deeper part;
The words you may not ever know
Unless you read my heart.

... from Candles at Noon

Bill Ledbetter at home, September 19, 1998

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