William Eugene "Bill" Leopold age 87, longtime Galveston Philanthropist passed peacefully away, Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at the Meridian in Galveston. Funeral services are10:00 am Friday, November 30, 2012 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston with the Reverend Susan Kennard and the Reverend Emeritus John Donovan officiating. Entombment will follow in the Columbarium at Trinity Episcopal Church. The family will receive visitors from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at Carnes Brothers Funeral Home where a Masonic Memorial service will be held at 7:00 pm. |
Bill was born December 31, 1924 in Houston, Texas to August Charles Leopold and Annie Lillian Arthur Leopold. Mr. Leopold was a real estate broker, land developer and restorer of historic homes. He came to Galveston in 1947 after honorable discharge from the U. A. Army to be associated with Leopold's, a family clothing store. In the mid-fifties, Galveston, like other cities, saw businesses in the old downtown areas beginning to decline as shoppers were lured to the new suburban shopping malls. Many downtown stores closed and on the last day of 1959, Leopold's became one of them
Because of his love for the Island and its people, Bill desired to remain in Galveston and early in 1960, he opened a real estate business. A short time later he opened additional offices in La Marque and Dickinson. Bill was the builder of apartments, subdivisions, houses and commercial properties throughout Galveston County. He built the first modern multi-unit apartment complex in the medical school area.
Bill was a long time member of Trinity Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry and as both junior and senior wardens. For many years he was chief usher. In the Galveston Rotary Club, he served at various times as a director, secretary, sergeant-at-arms and a Paul Harris Fellow. Bill was a member of Harmony Lodge # 6, 32 K.C.C.H. Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the EI Mina Shrine Temple. Over the years, he also served as the director of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the William Temple Foundation, the Historic Downtown-Strand Partnership, the 1894 Grand Opera House and was a founder and past president of the University Area Association. Bill served as vice-chairman of the Galveston County Navigation District and was past director of Guarantee Federal Savings and Loan Association. He participated in many other civic and charitable organizations.
Bill was a committed volunteer at the Galveston Historical Foundation and was chair or member of almost every committee of that organization. He was an early participant in Galveston's historic renaissance, buying older homes and buildings in the east-end and downtown areas. He was honored with many awards such as the Spirit of GHF, the President's Award for Volunteer Service, and the Phoenix Award for saving and restoring the historic Hitchcock House, one of the three oldest residences remaining in Galveston. From the Historic downtown-Strand Association he received the Eddie Weiss Award. Galveston and its historic architecture was his greatest love.
Bill served on the board of the Salvation Army for fifty-seven years. During his years of service the Salvation Army occupied three different locations and prior to his death he was instrumental in finding a new property and moving the Salvation Army to a fourth location that would meet its need to expand and to provide new community programs.
Preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Thomas Arthur Leopold and Nelson Eldridge Leopold, Bill is survived by one niece, five nephews, several great nieces, great nephews and many long time friends. If so inclined memorials should be sent to Trinity Episcopal Church, the Galveston Historical Foundation, the 1894 Grand Opera House, the Shiners' Burns Institute, or the Paul Harris Fund of the Galveston Rotary Club.
Galveston, Texas 77550
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 27, 2012