Fred Leckie Williams (94) never met a stranger and this was never truer than when he met his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. He had recently celebrated his 94th birthday on August 9 surrounded by his family.
Fred was born on August 9, 1925 in San Antonio, Texas in “a very happy and cheerful home”, the second son of his beloved parents, Victor M. and Eunice B. Williams. The family joined Baptist Temple (Church) in San Antonio and at the age of 9, Fred accepted Jesus as his savior and was baptized. Over most of his lifetime, Fred took an active participation in Bible Study and Church. At the age of 9, after playing the “Tom-tom drum” in a school play, he became fascinated with playing the snare drum which became a lifelong passion. During his high school years at Breckenridge High, Fred was a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Debate Society, an officer in the High-Y Club and a member of the Breckenridge High Band. Beginning at age 13, Fred entered numerous snare drum competitions winning 1st place in solo competitions in two state band clinics, one state contest and three national contests, the last one judged by Mr. William F. Ludwig, Jr. of the WFL Drum Company in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Ludwig described Fred as an “excellent drummer”. He was invited to play drum solos across the state, played with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Lady of the Lake Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1942-1943, Fred attended Texas A&M College and joined the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. In 1943, he left A&M to join the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marines sent him to Arkansas A&M College as a member of the Marine Contingent of the Navy V-12 Officer Candidate Program. In the Marines, Fred became interested in boxing and in 1944, won the Arkansas State A.A.U. Lightweight Boxing Championship. He served in the Marine Corps. until 1945 completing his training as an Infantry Platoon Commander and was proud to have achieved the distinction as “Expert Riflemen”. After WWII, Fred returned to Texas and enrolled at The University of Texas, receiving his BBA degree in Business Administration in 1948. While at UT, he was a member of the Student Swing Orchestra and gave drumming lessons to help earn his way through college.
Upon graduation, Fred began his seven-year career at Proctor & Gamble Company in Dallas, Texas where he was promoted to District Manager of South Texas which included a large client, H.E.B. Grocery Company. This would prove fortuitous as he left P&G in 1955 to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed Texas Gold Stamp Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the H.E.B. Grocery Company headquartered at that time in Corpus Christi, Texas. Over the next 17 years, he built an organization across the state of Texas that included 35 stamp redemption centers and 200 plus employees. In Corpus Christi, Fred met and married Nancy McCool (Howard E. Butt, Jr.’s administrative assistant) and had five children; Fred Jr., Julie, Martha, Kimberly and Christina. The family were members of First Baptist Church Corpus Christi and Fred served in numerous capacities as a Sunday School Director, Bible teacher and member of the Finance Committee. He was active in both civic and community organizations including:
President of the Board of Directors of the Trading Stamp Institute of America
Board of Directors of the National Premium Sales Executives Club in Chicago
President of the Corpus Christi Sales & Marketing Club
Campaign Chairman and Board of Governors of the Corpus Christi United Fund Organization
President of the Board of Directors of the Campfire Girls
Board of Directors for the Mexican Baptist Children’s Home in San Antonio
Vice President of the Board of Governors of the Corpus Christi Country Club
In 1973, Fred moved his family to Dallas where he served in several business endeavors including opening his own restaurant called “Chick ‘N Rib”, started his own business as a manufacturer’s representative in giftware sales and concluded his career at Kenneth Murchison Company. He maintained his passion for golf by working for many years as a golf marshal at Brookhaven Country Club and the Clubs of Prestonwood. He joined Prestonwood Baptist Church and served a brief time as a Bible Study teacher.
Fred had a passion for people and many activities including his faith in God, his family, his Men’s Bible Study group led by Chip Brunott, golf, big-band music, Texas Longhorn football and cooking BBQ brisket and ribs. He loved all people, had a big smile, a wonderful sense of humor and was always quick with a funny story, a famous quote or a one-liner.
Fred is survived by his five children; son, Fred Jr. and wife Kellye of Houston, Texas; daughters Julie Drake and husband Brad of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas; Martha Fuller of Frisco, Texas; Kimberly Williams and Christina Williams of Dallas, Texas; six grandchildren, Andrew Drake and wife Brooke, Zachary Drake and wife Emilee, Alexandra and Haley Fuller, Preston Williams and wife Taylor, and Courtney Williams; one great-grandchild, Shiloh Drake.
The celebration of Fred’s life will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 in Faith Chapel of Prestonwood Baptist Church, 6801 W. Park Blvd., Plano, Texas 75093 (972-820-5000). Reception immediately following. Internment will be held at 1:30 pm at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Prestonwood Baptist Church Missions Star of Hope Mission
6801 W. Park Blvd. 4848 Loop Central Drive, Suite 500
Plano, Texas 75093 Houston, Texas 77081-2356