ODESSA Bill G. Elms, a devoted husband, father and grandfather, civic leader, businessman, and faithful child of God, died peacefully surrounded by his family on November 7 in Odessa. |
Bill was keenly aware of his blessings. After graduating from Odessa College and passing the CPA exam he rose to become the founding partner of Elms Faris Co., which developed into a large regional CPA and consulting firm. He was known for his honesty, loyalty and integrity in doing what was right for all involved.
A graduate of Odessa High School, he courted and married Anita Childress, a girl from church who caught his eye and won his heart. They were married for almost 60 years and worked together to create a strong, loving family. Together they cultivated in their children a love for God, country, community, and family.
Over time, Bill became the proud patriarch of an extended family of children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and more. His greatest joy was to have his family gathered together to celebrate holidays and share in life's blessings.
He was a long-time member of the 6th & Jackson Church of Christ.
Bill worked long hours developing his business, but was also active in local and regional politics for the good of the community, serving as an advisor and sounding board to many area political officials, and leading in numerous major advancements for the Permian Basin area.
He was a proud American, a prouder Texan, a committed West Texan, and a loyal Odessan. He took it as his welcomed duty to give back to his city. He was elected and served two terms as a county commissioner of Ector County. His countless investments to the welfare of Odessa were gratefully acknowledged by his being granted many awards.
He received the Heritage Foundation Award for Excellence in Community Service (1987), Odessa Chamber of Commerce's Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), Outstanding Citizen of Odessa (1977), Outstanding Young Men of America (1970), United Way of Odessa's Donavan R. William's Award, Who's Who in Accounting and Who's Who in America. He was inducted into the Odessa Business Hall of Fame (1996).
He was on the Ector County ISD Education Foundation (founding board member), Ector County Republican Women's Club (honorary lifetime member), Main Street Odessa (founding board member and first president), Odessa Boys and Girls Club (past president and board member), Odessa Beautiful (past president), Odessa Chamber of Commerce (past chair and lifetime board member), Odessa College Foundation (past president and founding board member), Odessa Country Club, Odessa Heritage Foundation, Odessa Industrial Development Corporation (past board chair and executive committee member), Odessa Jaycees (past president and board member), Odessa Junior Service League (advisory board member), Odessa Rotary Club, Odessa Village Place Trust (board of trustees member), Permian Basin Area Foundation (past vice chair and advisory board member), Permian Playhouse of Odessa (board member and past treasurer), Texas Tech University's Chancellor's Council and the United Way of Odessa (lifetime board member, past president and past resource chair).
Elms was a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and its Permian Basin chapter and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was recently honored by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for maintaining his Texas Certified Public Accountant license for 50 years.
Bill's second love outside of his hometown was the 4E, the family ranch in Burkett, Texas, where he spent long weekends after retiring to enjoy the big sky and quiet nights. On those long weekends he became a regular at the Burkett Church of Christ where he made many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Lorene Elms, brother Norman, son, Steven, and grandson, Bobby.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Anita, who never left his side to the very end, his sons Tracy of Midland and Clark of Dallas, daughter Terri (Joe) of Louisville, Kentucky, five grandchildren, Kara, Carly, Steven, Murray and Luke, two great-grandchildren Max and Kathryn, and his sisters, Maxine Newton and Doris Roberson, sisters-in-law Jackie Bell and Janie Widner, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at the Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home on Thursday, November 8 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be at the 6th and Jackson Church of Christ on Friday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial gifts be made to United Way of Odessa and Permian Basin Area Foundation.
Published in Odessa American on Nov. 8, 2012