William Otis Hallmark


William Otis Hallmark, son of Georgia Anne Borrer and Otis Hallmark, born December 22, 1931, in Waelder, Texas. He grew up in a house with walls so thin that the wallpaper shook when the wind blew. As a child they had no electricity or running water. William graduated from Waelder High School in 1949 and went to work at HEB in Alice, Texas. He joined the Air Force in 1951, mainly stationed in Japan, and served until 1954. He received teletype, cryptography, and security service training. Stationed near Mount Fuji, he was attached to the radio squad where he intercepted and decoded messages from Russia, China, and North Korea.

William returned to Austin and worked at a grocery store and attended college. Through the inspiration of the United Methodist Church and his high school sweetheart Virginia Ruth Carmichael, William became a Christian in 1955. William married his first and only love, Virginia, in 1955 in Travis Park United Methodist Church in San Antonio. She nicknamed him Bill and it stuck. Having a gift for numbers, Bill excelled in accounting and worked in the field of life insurance for most of his career. Bill enjoyed being a father to a handsome son Billy who passed away at the age of 24. However Bill’s pride and joy was always his girls: Virginia his wife and Kathryn his daughter. Though the family lived in different parts of Texas, once Bill saw Kathryn through her graduation from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and later her doctorate and licensure in psychology, Bill decided to retire. He and Virginia traveled to many beautiful places in their lives but chose to return to their roots in Gonzales. They lived on Fair street, probably because Bill loved to share childhood memories when the monkeys escaped from the circus of the fairgrounds. Bill had always given his financial talents and time to the church over the course of his life and he especially enjoyed volunteering at the First United Methodist Church and the Rotary club in Gonzales. He took great pleasure in his retirement through gardening, antiquing, bridge playing, coin and stamp collecting, and listening to music, but his true passion involved his love of the Archives where he volunteered many hours, sometimes coming home wearing the scent of old books. His zeal for Texas history and genealogy blossomed in his final years. He was quite proud of his membership in the Sons of the Texas Republic. One of his favorite trips was to the Mormon genealogical archives in Utah. He often helped others trace their family roots. No doubt Bill is in his Texas heaven of wildflowers in the gently rolling hills and oak trees under the big skies with his ancestors, his son Billy, sisters Mable and Maudie, brothers James and George, and a host of his Texas heroes. Bet he is bragging right now about his girls, Virginia and Kathryn.

Bill passed away on Sept. 29, the day in which his entire family genealogy was divinely revealed to him. The service celebrating his 85 year life will be held at Seydler Hill Funeral Home in Gonzales on Oct. 6, at 2 p.m. with Pastor Matt Pennington officiating. A graveside farewell will be held afterwards at Thompsonville Cemetery. Pallbearers: Walter Welch, Gary Barr, Michael Barr, Donald Carmichael, Tommy Vaught and Jacob Gardner. The family will receive friends from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Friday in the funeral home. Memorial may be made to the First United Methodist Church or the Thompsonville Cemetery Association. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.