William “Bill” George Farnum

William “Bill” George Farnum
William “Bill” George Farnum

William “Bill” George Farnum, age 73, died after a brief but valiant fight with stage 4 cancer. He was born in Pecos, Tex., later graduating from Pecos High School in 1965 and then West Texas State University in 1969 with a B.A. in commercial art and a minor in chemistry. Bill was active in Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, ROTC and was a Distinguished Military graduate. He entered the US Army after graduation and fought in Vietnam. Upon his return, he achieved the rank of captain. He married his wife, Debbie, a few weeks later.

Bill’s professional career began as a soda jerk at age 12, then the US Army and after he left the service, he put his commercial art degree to work in the construction business, building metal buildings, prisons, senior living facilities and various retail and commercial properties. He owned and operated Traeco Building Systems in Dumas, then worked for A&S Steel Buildings in Amarillo, Wackenhut Corporation (now The GEO Group) in Florida, finally finishing his career with White Construction Company in Austin as Vice President of Preconstruction Services, retiring in 2017.

Bill flourished in his faith after participating in an ACTS Retreat. He and his wife, Debbie, were active at St. Louis Catholic Church in Austin, where he recently served as chair of the building committee.

His proudest title was undoubtedly “Papa” to his ten grandchildren. Bill thought every food item should be eaten with Tabasco sauce! He loved playing golf, drinking martinis and Manhattans, watching sports, eating Mexican and Thai food, teasing everyone, watching Hallmark movies and cooking a mean filet.

Bill is survived by his wife, Debbie; his daughter and her husband, Scott and Kathryn Whitaker of Austin and their six children (Will, John Paul, Anna-Laura, Clare, Luke and Gianna Whitaker); his son and his wife, Daniel and Amanda Farnum of Round Rock and their four children (Ava, Jack, Mary Grace and Mia); three siblings, Mary Lou Farnum of Amarillo, Ava Howard of Abilene and Dee Farnum of El Paso; numerous in-laws, plus many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Following masking and social distancing guidelines, a visitation and Rosary will be held on Monday, January 11, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., with rosary at 6:00 p.m., at Cook Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N. Lamar, Austin. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Louis Catholic Church, 7601 Burnet Rd., Austin, with Rev. Larry Covington presiding and eight other priests concelebrating.

Memorial donations may be made to the ACTS Missions (actsmissions.org) or to the Texas 4-H Foundation (texas4hfoundation.org).

7 Replies to “William “Bill” George Farnum”

  1. Saddened to read of Bill’s death. Had known Debbie from Perryton days and got to know Bill through Amarillo Children’s Theater.
    Heartfelt sympathy to all the family.

  2. Our thoughts go out to the family during this difficult time. Although we haven’t seen them in years, there are good memories from their days in this area. We extend our prayers and condolences.

  3. I got to know the Farnum family through the Amarillo College Childrens’ Theatre program. I am so very sorry for your loss of a husband, a father, a grandfather and a fine man. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. So very sad to read about Bill . . .so many memories my mind goes back to years ago in Dumas and even before that at college at WT. . . .Bill and Debbie and I did business in insurance and investments, but their long friendship started years ago . . .Kathryn and Daniel were small children when we came together in Dumas . . .God Bless all the family and I pray for your peace and comfort during these times.

  5. I will always be great full for his kindness on helping Lin and I
    to have a second chance at being successful in business.
    He always had a great attitude, and always stayed on the right
    side of right and wrong. My condolences debbie and your family.

  6. I have many fond memories of Bill when he and the family lived in Amarillo. He was a true gentleman and always optimistic. My condolences go out to Debbie, Kathryn, Daniel and their families. May God give you peace in his passing.

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