William (Bill) Verne Leazer, 93, of Dallas, passed away on May 6 at Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek in Dallas.
Bill was born in Madison, Neb., to George and Eleanor Leazer on Oct. 1, 1929. He graduated from Lancaster High School in Lancaster Minnesota in 1947, and continued his education at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of music degree.
He also received a master of arts degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Bill was drafted and spent two years in the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed in the southwestern states during the Korean War. From there, he went to Europe to study at the Church Music Department of the Vienna Academy of Music in Vienna, where he did postgraduate studies and became an accomplished pianist and organist.
Subsequently, Bill moved to New York City where he worked at Patelson’s and then Springer Verlag music stores. Soon after, he became personal secretary to Richard Burton while also working closely with Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of Cleopatra, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Night of the Iguana.
Bill then returned to New York City, and from there moved to Dallas where he began his future work with Majors Publishing and EBSCO Subscription Services. He met his life partner, Bill Swann, in Dallas and the two lived a committed, loving life together for close to 40 years.
Both were adventurous worldwide travelers and became amazing collectors. Some of their collections have been featured in major museums. Bill often shared what he had learned with others through presentations, journals and wonderful storytelling.
Being a faith-filled person who loved his church, he was involved in many ways, most notably, singing in the choir where he made lasting friendships.
He was a patron of the arts, loving the symphony, museums, theater and dance performances. Bill expressed himself through his own art as well with his beautiful photography, paintings, sketches and poetry. He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Eleanor Leazer, his sister Eloise (Leazer) Johnson, and his life partner, Bill Swann.
He is survived by nieces Michelle Kindle and Janeen Ringuette, nephew-in-law Gene Ringuette, two great-nieces, five great-nephews, 16 great-great nieces and -nephews, one great-great-great-niece and -nephew, many special cousins and friends he has made all over the world.
Memorial service will be held June 10, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, 6525 Inwood Road. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and Gentiva Hospice-Dallas.