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W. Leroy Estes

On May 17, 2021 our family said goodbye to W. Leroy Estes, a man who lived for his
family and community and was always delighted to help anybody and everybody.
Leroy was born in Miami, Oklahoma, the second son of Mabel and Andrew Estes. He
attended Oklahoma State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical
Education. Leroy later earned a Masters Degree from Midwestern State University and
a Doctorate of Education from Nova University. In addition to his formal degrees, Leroy
was a life-long student, always wanting to master his next hobby, whether it was stained
glass art, calligraphy, cooking, computers or refurbishing antiques.
Leroy met his wife of 51 years, Linda Darlene Snyder, while in college. After marrying
in 1969 they fi rst planted roots in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Leroy worked as a
draftsman at Sandia National Laboratories. While he loved the excitement of his job, Leroy
knew his true calling was to be an educator, and in 1972 he became a founding faculty
member at Vernon Regional Junior College (“VRJC”), VRJC was Leroy’s home-awayfrom-
home for 35 years, and he loved every minute of his time there. Whether he was
spending time with his beloved architecture and computer science students, befriending
his fellow faculty and administrators, watching the various sport activities or repairing
something that required attention, Leroy was a tireless employee and friend to VRJC.
In 2008 Leroy’s dedication to VRJC was recognized with the Dr. William Leroy Estes
Excellence and Innovation Award, given annually to VRJC employees who demonstrate
Leroy’s exemplary service.
In addition to his work at VRJC, Leroy loved being a draftsman with focus on
architectural design, designing homes and buildings around the Vernon area. He enjoyed
driving throughout Wilbarger County and looking at his many projects. Leroy claimed he
had no favorites, but he was especially fond of the projects he designed pro bono.
Following retirement in 2007, Leroy continued to pursue his passions. Whether he was
refurbishing a pipe organ, building his granddaughter a dollhouse, pumpkin carving with
the grandkids, preparing fabulous holiday meals, or driving around with Linda looking for
a unique antique, he was constantly on the go searching for the next fun project.
Leroy was preceded in death by his mother and father and his brother Kenneth. He is
survived by his wife Linda; daughter Lori Estes Baity (Burt) and her three children, Mike,
Joe and Madison; and son Jeffrey Estes (Shannon) and his four children, Josh, Kate, Ryan
and Jack.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, May 21, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Sullivan Funeral
Home Chapel.
In lieu of fl owers contributions may be made to Vernon College.
Online condolences may be made to the family at

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