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William "Bill" Ernest LeBrun

September 14, 1920 September 28, 2019
William "Bill" Ernest LeBrun
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Obituary for William "Bill" Ernest LeBrun

William (Bill) Ernest LeBrun was born in Detroit, Michigan, on September 14, 1920. His father, Arthur (Larry) LeBrun, accepted a job with the Panama Canal Company and moved his family to the Canal Zone. Bill was 4 years old at the time. He grew up in Panama and attended Canal Zone schools, graduating from Balboa High School in 1938. His father, Larry, died at the age of 44, and Bill began his employment with the Panama Canal Company to help his mother and younger siblings. His first job was with the Commissary Division.

Bill continued his career in the Canal Zone and received numerous promotions, retiring as a member of the Canal Zone Governor’s Executive Staff and Chief of Internal Security in 1978. During this time he married Patricia Smith and they had 5 children: Arthur, Michael, Kathleen, Julie, and William Jr. Bill was a very involved parent, and his children enjoyed not only his fatherly duties but the many hours he spent coaching them and their teams in tennis, baseball, and basketball. In 1974, Bill remarried Aurora Fernandez, who was the Governor’s Secretary at the time. Together they have one daughter, Laura, born in California. Bill was preceded in death by his father Arthur, mother Marjorie, sisters Alberta and Barbara, brother Charles, and son Arthur.

Growing up in the Canal Zone, Bill was active in sports and became an accomplished tennis player, as well as an excellent golfer. He was a long-time member of the Club de Golf de Panama and represented Panama in the Central American Games. In 1972, Panama earned the Championship and Bill was recognized as the top player in the winning team. In 1977, again representing Panama at the World Senior Tournament in Colorado Springs, Bill and his team received the Frances H.I. Brown Trophy.

In 1985, Bill and his family moved to the Texas Hill Country, right on the seventh fairway of the Quicksand Golf Course, in Woodcreek. He enjoyed his life in Woodcreek and was active in the community with the Lions’ Club and as a Booster for the Wimberley School District. He also enjoyed raising his daughter as retirement gave him the opportunity to be full-time chauffeur and caretaker for Laura. His dedication was not missed and, upon graduating from high school, Laura wrote him a note: “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for your unconditional support and for everything you have given me, especially your love.” This message could have been written by any of his children – he was proud of them and was a strong presence in their lives until his very last day.

Bill died on September 28, 2019 after several years of deteriorating health. He lived a long, full life, and enjoyed his retirement years traveling, playing golf, visiting children and grandchildren, and serving his community. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Aurora (Fernandez) LeBrun; his sons Michael and William Jr.; daughters Kathleen, Julie, and Laura; as well as 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.


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