IRVING - Wallace Leavelle, 63, died Sunday, Aug. 1, 2004.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in Plymouth Park Church of Christ with Steve Barrett officiating. Burial will be at 3 p.m. Thursday in Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville by Brown's Memorial Funeral Home.
Mr. Leavelle was born in Amarillo on Aug. 24, 1940. He graduated from Amarillo High School in 1958 and received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Denver in 1964. He was a coach, referee and player in the Irving Soccer Association.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil E. Leavelle and Roma Thornton Leavelle.
Survivors include his wife, Betty; a son, Scott Leavelle of Irving; three daughters, Melaney Warren of Euless, Melinda Fuhrmann of Lindsay and Meri Krause of Buda; two brothers, Gene Leavelle of Houston and Harold D. Leavelle of Parker, Colo.; a sister, Betty Kendrick of Arvada, Colo.; and eight grandchildren.
The family suggests memorials be to Larry Branum in care of Moments of Inspiration, 1020 S. Pleasant St., Springdale, AR 72764.
Amarillo Globe-News, Aug. 4, 2004.
Larry Dean Lupher
Larry Dean Lupher, 67, of Amarillo died Saturday, March 22, 2008.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Comanche Trail Church of Christ with Jerry Klein and Loran Harper officiating. Private family burial will be held at a later date by Memorial Park Funeral Home, 6969 E. Interstate 40.
Larry was born July 1, 1940, in Wellington, Kan., to Ernest Elmer and Verna Dovene Williams Lupher. He attended Second Ward School in Wellington, Bivins and Wolflin elementary schools, Stephen F. Austin and Amarillo High School, graduating in 1958. He attended TCU, Amarillo College and West Texas State University. Mr. Lupher participated in football from fifth grade to 11th grade, playing on the Wolflin Mustangs, Stephen F. Austin, Amarillo High Stormies and Yannigans. During his senior year, he was a radio spotter for the Amarillo High Sandie games.
Mr. Lupher was first employed as a sacker/stocker for Furrs Supermarkets at the age of 12; then Kraft Foods, was a Woolworth Co. district manager, and also worked for J Branum, Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less and Grand Variety True Value Hardware. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, receiving an honorable discharge, and was a charter member of the Southwest Lions Club.
The family would like to thank Dr. C. Sloan Teeple for his patience and excellent care of Larry for the last two years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents, Ernest Admiral Lupher and Essie Frances Davis Lupher, James Harvey Williams and Lola Velma Bearden Williams; his sister, Phyllis Jean Lupher Waldrop and husband Thomas E. Waldrop; and a special uncle, Ray Glovier.
Survivors include a half brother, Glenn Lupher of Ohio; two nephews, Mark Waldrop and Glen Sherman Lupher Jr; three nieces, Kristi Ricketts, Tammy Olinger and Kimberly Treece; two cousins, Kevin Glovier and Deanna Mashburn; a special aunt, Dorothy Glovier; three great-nephews; three great-nieces; five special cousins and their families; and special friends, Gail Combs and Soapy Sudbury and wife Eva Jo.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be to Amarillo Prostate Cancer Support Group, 6816 Club Meadows Drive, Amarillo, TX 79124; Olivia's Angels, P.O. Box 950, Amarillo, TX 79105; or a favorite charity.
Amarillo Globe-News, March 28, 2008
THE FOLLOWING IS A TRIBUTE TO LARRY LUPHER, WRITTEN ABOUT 2 MONTHS BEFORE LARRY'S DEATH BY DERRELL CHANDLER. IT WAS A TRIBUTE TO LARRY FOR ALL OF HIS HARD WORK ON THE 1958 AHS WEBSITE AND WAS TO BE SHOWN TO ALL AT OUR 50TH REUNION IN SEPTEMBER, 2008. IT WAS READ TO HIM WHEN HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL WHILE HE WAS STILL ABLE TO TALK. HE REALLY ENJOYED THE CARRYING ON OF THE "VIOLET BASS" LEGEND AND HE WAS APPRECIATIVE & MOVED.
BEFORE YOU READ IT, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE VIOLET BASS STORY. SOMEONE PUT THAT NAME ON CLASSMATES.COM AS A MEMBER OF OUR GRADUATING CLASS. SHE WAS NOT IN OUR CLASS, BUT SEVERAL CLASSMATES ON OUR YAHOO CHAT GROUP STARTED TEASING THAT SHE WAS SO AND SO'S GIRL FRIEND AND SEVERAL OTHERS CHIMED IN AS TO WHO SHE COULD BE. LARRY PICKED UP ON THAT AND WHEN HE PUBLISHED THE WEBSITE, HE TOOK CREDIT UNDER THE ASSUMED NAME "VIOLET BASS". ONLY A COUPLE OF PEOPLE, EACH SWORN TO SECRECY, KNEW THAT LARRY WAS "VIOLET BASS" HE DELIGHTED IN HEARING EVERYONE WAS TRYING TO GUESS WHO WAS "VIOLET BASS". THIS WENT ON FOR A YEAR BEFORE HE WAS FINALLY IDENTIFIED AS "VIOLET BASS".
A TRIBUTE TO LARRY LUPHER
By Miss Violet Bass
My name is Violet Bass. Some of you
might not remember me. Some of you
might question my existence---you
might think I am a puff of smoke---
You might think I am the imagination
of thought--- you might think I exist
only in the hearts and souls of other
Sandies. However, there I am--- on
Classmates.com--- bigger than life---
a graduate of Amarillo High School,
Class of 1958.
I have been asked to tell the story of my secret crush on Larry Lupher. This is a subject dear to my heart and a story I love telling. I have known Larry since the day he was born. Indeed, some say I share a common birthday with Larry --- such speculation remains my little secret. I worshipped Larry from a distance --- a distance comfortable for me and a distance that left Larry feeling that he was "unwatched". Larry lived his life at 3414 South Hughes in Amarillo. I often sent spare change to Larry so that he would have gasoline money for his lawnmower. You see, my heart fluttered every time I saw Larry with his shirt off, mowing lawns in the neighborhood, and his ample rippling muscles glistening in the warm Amarillo sun. Such was the inter-play between us --- Larry Lupher and me, Violet Bass.
Larry then attended Stephen F. Austin Junior High School. There I was watching his every graceful move on the football field and all his moves on campus. Larry played for Austin and against every powerful football team in Amarillo --- Horace Mann, Elizabeth Nixson, and sam Houston. I saw no other man-amongst-boys except Larry.
Amarillo High School in the years of 1955-1958 were exceptional years for Larry. Yes! He, with his rippling muscles, was on the football team while I, again watched from my comfortable distance. A "Stormie"? Yes, Larry started as a Stormie (see 1956 La Airosa, page 119, 1955 Stormies, first hunk on the 3rd row). In 1956, Larry became the most misnamed of all Sandies. That year, AHS named him a "Yannigan"! Now, dear Sandies, a "Yannigan" is defined as"a beginner, a novice, one in training". Yes, I -- Violet Bass --- stand before you today to tell you that Larry Lupher was not a BEGINNER, a NOVICE or one in TRAINING in any sense of the word (oh, be still, my beating heart). Larry was my hero and a leader in all aspects of his AHS activities.
Now, I jump ahead 50 years. Larry Lupher still remains my heartthrob. He is still a leader of the AHS Class of 1958, the Classiest of the Classes. I invite you to go to www.58ahssandies.com and review the wonderful website Larry created for the Class of '58. There you will find a complete depiction of AHS, the junior high schools, elementary schools and related memorabilia. You will find pictures of our reunions and mini-reunions in Amarillo, Dallas-Ft.Worth and Austin. You will find pictures of AHS THEN as well as pictures of AHS NOW. The Nighthawks, In Memory (of our deceased friends(, stories of our clasmates, Odds and Ends of our lives. You will find all of this on the website Larry created and continues to maintain and monitor. Ah, the memories of our togetherness at the Double Dip, Smitty's, and Stanley's ----!
Larry has suffered some health problems the past 2-3 years. Those health problems were faced with the typical Larry Lupher fortitude and he is living his abundant life as usual. I would like the memory of Larry to be continued with three thoughts: (1) Larry lives the motto "Once a Sandie, Always a Sandie", (2) as long as Yama-Yama echoes in our memories, the name "friend" will echo in our hearts, and (3) as long as Larry's vivid imagination lives, Violet Bass will also live.
Bless you, Larry Lupher, for all you have given us.
POSTED TO AHS FRIENDS BY PETE MEADOR 5-26-08
For those of us who were able to attend the memorial service for Larry,
the most moving part of the service was the reading by a family member
of a composition Larry himself wrote to be read at the service. After
the service, Soapy and I spoke with a few of Larry's family members
about getting a copy of it so that we could share it with all of his
AHS58 classmates. For whatever reason, we were never got a copy. A
few days ago Mary Lee had the opportunity to spend some time with one
of Larry's cousins and was able to get a copy. Also, thanks to ML for
keyboarding the document in a format that we could use in an email.
She will include Larry's composition in the tribute to Larry that will
appear in our 50th reunion memory book.
Larry wrote this in the third person. So, even though he was the
author, all references to himself are "Larry" and "he", not "I" and
"me". I point this out because, as you read this, it is easy to forget
that it was written by Larry himself. His ability and willingness to
do this shows real literary talent. Larry has given his AHS58
classmates a second important artistic gift. The first important gift
was the 58ahssandies web site. The second gift is the sharing of his
inner most thoughts about his life with his family and friends. I
think all of you who read this will be as touched by it as we were at
the memorial service. At the end of Larry's composition, you will find
a poem that he asked to be read at the end of the service.
Regards to all,
IN LARRY'S OWN WORDS:
Until the past few years Larry had few health problems. Many
considered Larry a very outgoing person, but in reality he was shy and
bashful. Through his life Larry struggled with his relationship with
God and, by his own admission, struggled with pride. Some who met him
considered him arrogant, but that was not Larry.
Larry said after his health problems began that Soapy and Eva Jo Sudbury,
Gail Combs, Eddie Reeves and Ron Mashburn prolonged his life by giving
him reasons to fight the battle when he was ready to give up. One could
tell how much love Larry had for these friends, and his family just
listening to him talk about them. Larry always wanted the best for
them even though many considered him unfeeling and uncaring, but that
was not the case.
Throughout our short lives on this earth, we marvel and are in constant
awe of the world that surrounds us. A newborn baby, quirks of a new
puppy, the beauty of mountain streams and waterfalls, the roar of the
oceans, trees, blooming flowers, twinkling stars, meteor showers, a
galloping wild horse and many other awesome wonders. Even the
dandelions are wonders. The Texas Panhandle has some of the most
beautiful sunsets of any place in the world. Yes, even the flat land
and deserts are awesome. But how many of us really take the time to
enjoy them and give thanks to the Creator for giving us these wonders?
Logically and rationally we realize that all wonders did not just
happen. How do we find exactly who this Creator is? Only through the
Bible can we learn who this Creator is. The Bible tells us the name of
this Creator – I Am That I Am; the Alpha and Omega. Also only in the
Bible can we learn what the I Am That I Am wants from us, his attitude
and love toward us. We can learn this in no other place.
However, our infinite minds do not comprehend the finite mind of the
great I Am That I Am and grasp that even though he is magnificent he
wants a close personal relationship with each of us.
In the very beginning, in Genesis, God walked with Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening. We also learn that the I Am
That I Am walked with Enoch for 300 years and then Enoch was no more.
No lengthy explanation, just Enoch walked with I Am That I Am and was
no more. We have no idea what God, Enoch, Adam and Eve talked
about….if they laughed….if they sang….we simply do not know. We do
know however, by his early examples, I Am That I Am, wanted a personal
relationship with us.
John 3:16 tells us…..
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
From this we learn the great I Am That I Am loves us very much and
sends his only Son, who knows the very essence of the I Am That I Am to
show to the world the very essence of I Am That I Am.
Hebrews 11:6 we learn…..
Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes
to Him, must believe He exists and that he rewards those who seek Him.
Throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we see the very life of the Son
of the I Am That I Am unfolding before us showing the personal
relationship that God and his Son wanted with us.
Also, when the Son, Jesus, taught us how to pray, the very first words
are “Our Father” which denotes a close personal relationship.
The parable of the Prodigal Son is another example of how the great I
Am That I Am loves and forgives us and wants the personal relationship.
Where are you in your relationship with the Great I Am That I Am is
something only you and He knows. Are you procrastinating, a little
lazy, perhaps avoiding the relationship because you have not asked
forgiveness for previous actions, or perhaps a little egotistical
saying, “Do not worry God. I can handle this without your help.”
Maybe throughout your life you have struggled with your relationship
with I Am That I Am. Perhaps you struggle, as Larry did, with thoughts
that this I Am That I Am could not possibly want a relationship with
such a sinful person.
Do you walk hand in hand with God through the beauty and ugliness of
the world; laugh and talk with him as good friends should, remembering
that the trifles of this world will pass?
The choice for the relationship is yours and only yours. At times it
will be very easy, other times it will be very difficult, but always
remember that even though we may not think it, He is very close and
holding you in the hollow of his mighty hand when we need his
Remember My God loves each of us no matter what we have done, what we
have said, or what we are. What is important to the I Am That I Am is
what we become.
So, my good friends, “I have said Goodnight down here, but you can be
assured that I will be one of the first to say Good Morning up there.”
Larry asked that the following poem be read. The poem had been hand
stitched by his mother and framed. It hung in his home. Larry was
told by his aunt, Dorothy Glovier, that the poem suited him perfectly.