LENOX, William "Bill" W. Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Family Man Passes Suddenly in Vail, CO. Dallas, TX, February 1, 2017-William "Bill" W. Lenox, known for his entrepreneurial success, generous spirit and engaging character passed away Friday January 20th after suffering a heart attack at his home in Vail, Colorado. He was 70. Bill's wife Marilyn, their son and his girlfriend had dined together in Vail the evening preceding his unexpected death. His family finds gratification in Bill enjoying a good meal with close family in his last hours. Bill, in his professional and personal life, set the standard as a lover of fine foods and unique dining experiences. Bill was a maverick host with his culinary sophistication, large personality and lively debates. "Whether he was hosting for the holidays or pursuing business interests, Bill was passionate and followed no rules-he made his own." Said Steve Lenox, Bill's youngest brother. "And whether people embraced those rules or not, Bill's warm smile, humor and sincere charm was a deflection from any differences." Raised in Tenafly, NJ and educated at Jacksonville University, he taught English for a short time to underprivileged youth in Jacksonville, FL. In 1971 his business intuition led him to Dallas, TX where textiles were king. He started as a fabric salesman and met Marilyn Williams, a talented designer with whom he launched Circle T Western Wear. Capitalizing on a need in the market, the startup grew into one of the largest makers of women's western wear in the country. Circle T operated successfully for more than 30 years. Ultimately it was his penchant for prime beef that led to one of Bill's greatest business successes; Bob's Steak & Chophouse. In 1994, after a long run as a loyal customer at the Dallas favorite, Bill became partner to the restaurant's founder, Bob Sambol. In 2009 Bill formed BSCH, Inc., a partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, to expand the brand to 14 locations throughout Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Tennessee, with more locations on the horizon. "Bill represented the best in a partner with his true passion for the Bob's brand. His commitment to its success always took precedence over short term gains. However, it was Bill's passion for life, family and friends that contributed to my own evolution and for that I will be forever grateful," said Mike Deitemeyer, President of Omni Hotels and Resorts. In 1989, Lenox invested in Anteks, a home furnishings retailer specializing in refined rustic interiors. The well known retailer offers clients a western-chic interior style through their Dallas Design District showroom and via their full scale interior design services. Bill transferred ownership of the company to his oldest son Jason Lenox in 2015. Jason said, "Reflecting this past week on my father's life, and death, has forced me to look at him from many different angles. While listening to stories and reading the many condolences, the common thread was his immense humanity. He loved people, and people loved him. While probably best known for his business acumen, I want people to know that he was funny, he loved his family, and his friends were very important to him. He cared what other people thought, and felt. Yes, he was brash. Yes, he was domineering. But one thing can't be argued; he had tremendous heart. We're all so incredibly sad with his sudden passing, but at least he didn't have a stroke; he would have been a terrible patient." Brother's Steve and John shared that Bill's generosity astonished them over the years. His affluence afforded Bill the luxury of antiques, homes and influence in esteemed circles, yet he appreciated the chance to return the rewards of his success more than hold them close. "Despite his prosperity level, Bill could identify where help was in need. The help he offered didn't stem from obligation or a chance to gain leverage" Steve reflected, "It came from compassion and respect." His open-handedness and affinity for the arts prompted Bill to join the board of the Dallas Contemporary Museum in 2016. Chris Byrne, Board Member of Dallas Contemporary and Co-Founder of Dallas Art Fair shared, "Bill was the absolute best there was; a fearless collector and patron of the arts. His generosity was legendary towards institutions as well as important independent projects -- I could always count on Bill for counsel and guidance, and I will miss his openness and unpretentious approach." A crowd of family, friends and business associates gathered at the Lenox home in Dallas for a memorial on Sunday January 29th, 2017. The occasion celebrated Bill's life with recounts of his enterprising personality, his philanthropy and other warm sentiments. Bill is survived by his wife Marilyn Lenox, sons Jason Lenox of Dallas, Nathan Lenox of San Antonio and Matthew Lenox of Vail, CO, as well as two grandchildren, Grant and Piper. He had two brothers, John Lenox of Hobe Sound, FL and Steve Lenox of Boston, MA, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Donations can be made in Bill's memory to The William W. Lenox Memorial Foundation. Donations by check can be made payable to The Dallas Foundation and mailed to 3963 Maple Avenue, Suite 390, Dallas, TX 75219. www.dallasfoundation.org
Contact Lesley Martinelli at 214.741.9898 with questions.