Lee Murzel Elder
November 4, 1923 – May 13, 2016
Our beloved father, grandfather, and friend, Lee Murzel Elder, went to be with his Heavenly Father on May 13, 2016 in San Angelo.
Lee Murzel Elder was born as the first child of six on November 4, 1923, in Kress, Texas, to Prentice and Velma (Cunningham) Elder, who lived in the rural Texas Panhandle where his grandfather was a working cowboy on the Goodnight Ranch. When Lee was very young, the family moved to Clifton, Texas. As he grew, he helped with the family chicken hatchery, learned carpentry from his dad, participated in sports, began his coin and stamp collecting, was a Boy Scout, and started his college career at Clifton Junior College. He served our country during World War II from 1943-1946 in the Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic in Sioux City, Iowa. Upon his discharge in 1946, he finished his degree at Clifton Junior College and continued his education at North Texas State University, graduating in 1948 with a BBA degree—Accounting Major.
As a child his nickname was “Flunky,” because he was the one his family sent on errands to get needed materials. He loved to relive his memories spent in Clifton and in the military in Sioux City, Iowa, on the flight deck, or off on weekends dancing the jitterbug as he was quite the champion dancer.
Lee fell in love at first sight on a downtown corner in Clifton, Texas, where he saw the new girl in town, Joyce Hundley, talking with a group of young men. He went right over, and after visiting awhile, he asked Joyce for a date the next day, which was her birthday. He gladly bought a present for his “five foot two, eyes of blue” beauty. Six months later on August 31, 1946, they were married in a double wedding ceremony with his sister, Oleta, and her fiancé, Herb Lubke. Lee and Joyce were happily married for 69 years.
Lee first worked for the Hobbs Public Schools (1948-1949), then he and Joyce settled in Denison, Texas, to raise their four children where he worked as the Denison ISD Business Manager until 1963. The family moved to San Angelo when the school district hired Lee as Business Administrator until his retirement in 1982. He was a member of the Texas Association of School Business Officials for many years and served as president. Lee was proud to be in the field of education, as were many in his family.
He was an avid bowler in leagues in Denison as well as San Angelo, bowling a perfect score one time. He also was a dedicated golfer from his college days for many years. He always loved to tell the story of playing golf with the pro golfer, Byron Nelson, in Denton, Texas, and he would watch golf every Sunday on TV. He got a big kick out of telling people he was the other Lee Elder, not the famous pro golfer with the same name. After his retirement in 1982, Lee used the carpentry talent that he acquired from his father to build his own house in the country and to do the Lord’s work by helping to build 21 churches with the Texas Baptist Men’s building ministry. Lee also loved to travel with Joyce in their RV around the country. Many summers were spent in Ruidoso in a permanent spot at a trailer park, where they played card and domino games every evening and made numerous friends
Lee was a faithful long-time member and Ordained Deacon of First Baptist Church in San Angelo for 51 years, serving on many committees. He came from a long lineage of Baptist preachers, deacons, and faithful followers. He was known for passing out pocket crosses with prayers to many people that he met.
Lee had been a Kiwanis member since August 1, 1955, and was honored by receiving a 60 years perfect attendance award in the fall of 2015. He served as President in 1959 in Denison, TX, and was President of the Downtown Kiwanis in 1969, and served two terms as Texas Kiwanis Lt. Governor, first in 1975, and again in 1982. He also served as Secretary for several years, named Kiwanian of the year, and named a Hixson Fellow. In 1983, he and Joyce attended the Kiwanis International conference in Vienna, Austria. Besides the many hours spent with Kiwanis projects and coordinating the Salvation Army Christmas bell ringing for over 35 years, Lee, along with Al Reary and Elmer Edgington documented the history of the club from 1921 to 1996. Lee was instrumental in shaping the course of the San Angelo Downtown Kiwanis Club for many years and along with friend, Hugh Epps, started a Kiwanis Club in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
Lee compiled the Elder Genealogy book which is very extensive and goes back to Peter Elder, his earliest ancestor to come to America in the 1650s. Many of the Elder families throughout the US have added information to this book and obtained a copy of it from Lee. He was a member of the San Angelo Genealogy Society and faithfully attended the meetings. He always loved to tell people that his first cousin was Ruth Elder who was the first woman aviator to attempt to fly from the US over the Atlantic in 1927.
Lee will always be remembered for making people laugh by telling jokes at Kiwanis meetings and was known as “the good-humor man” at the San Angelo Retired Teachers’ meetings for always having a joke to read at every meeting. He was a faithful member and became the club president in 2003-2004. He was also known for pulling his nose whistle out of his pocket and playing it for everyone he met. He would order big batches of whistles and give them out to people hoping they were brave enough to whistle through their nose.
Beloved family who passed on before Lee include, his parents, Prentice and Velma Elder, parents-in-law, Harry and Leafy Hundley, Sr., his brother, Amos and wife, Alta Lee Elder, brother-in-law, Herman Barrs, brother-in-law, Harry Hundley, Sr., and wife, Jan, brother-in-law, Roy Briggs, and son-in-law, Gordon Stout.
Survivors include his children: Kenneth Elder of Austin, Deborah Stout, Donna Aylor (Don), Tim Elder (Debra) all of San Angelo. Also surviving are 8 grandchildren: Deon Aylor, Carrie Stout Gartman (Stephen), Dara Aylor Hurt (Rob), all of San Angelo, Lindsay Stout Kirking (BJ) of Round Rock, Dustin Aylor of Austin, Deja Elder of Georgetown, Carson Stout of San Angelo, Kate Latham of San Angelo, and 8 great-grandchildren: Weston and Tanner Fesperman, Laura and Joshua Gartman, Tawny Hurt, Sydney, Jenna and Wyatt Kirking, and 2 great-great grandchildren: Taylen and Damian Fesperman; sisters, Oleta Lubke, Dorothy Davis (Perry), Betty Barrs, and Mary Davis (Duane), many nephews and nieces; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Memorials may be made to Meals for the Elderly and San Angelo Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund c/o Sue Taylor, 3214 Forest Hill Dr., San Angelo, Texas 76904.
The family will receive visitors from 4:00-6:00 p.m.on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Johnson’s Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM on Monday, May 16, 2016 in the First Baptist Church, San Angelo. Dr. James Hassell will officiate. Dustin Aylor, Tanner Fesperman, Weston Fesperman, Stephen Gartman, BJ Kirking, and Carson Stout will serve as pallbearers. Family and friends are encouraged to share photos and memories as well as sign the online guestbook at www.johnsons-funeralhome.com . Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson’s Funeral Home of San Angelo.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Monday, May 16, 2016
Lee Murzel Elder
September 14, 2019
His book on the geneology of the elder clan is a wonderful legacy.
I would like to buy the book in his memory.
Where can it be p urchased
September 27, 2016
I was saddened to learn of cousin Lee's passing. I met him while we were collaborating on the Elder Clan family history book he assembled for all of us contributors to that effort. I'm sorry I never got to meet Lee personally though I felt like I knew him every time we got in touch via e mails or letters. I know God has him working on things in heaven that need to be done there. Rest in peace, Cousin Lee. I'll 'see you at the house' one day, my friend.
May 26, 2016
I knew Lee well. He was a good school business manager and I was proud to call him a friend.
TASBO President - 1982
May 17, 2016
Please know that we feel your pain . Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of grief.
Joe Padilla family