William “Bill” R. Leman passed away Tuesday evening February 11, 2014 at the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha. Bill was born on November 15, 1926 to Ray and Tillie (Anlicker) Leman in Roanoke IL. Bill lived in Illinois for six years before moving to Sabetha Kansas to be with his father (Ray) and stepmother (Monell). Bill attended school in Sabetha and lettered in football, basketball and track.
After high school Bill served in the U.S. Army as a tank gunnery instructor at Fort Knox KY. Bill married his high school sweetheart Donna Phillippi on August 24, 1947. They lived in Hiawatha KS until 1949. They purchased the Pontiac dealership in Sabetha in 1949. In 1959 they added Buick to the dealership and Chevrolet and Oldsmobile in 1983.
Bill started the Lions Club in Sabetha with the help of Andy Rokey, Lynn Henry and Donny Williams. Bill was appointed mayor serving seven years and was proud of the many achievements during his tenure such as the building of the swimming pool, tennis courts, fire barn and plans for the new water tower.
Bill was president of the Kansas Motor Car Dealership Association in the 1980’s. TIME magazine selected his dealership as the Kansas Quality Dealer of the year during that time. Bill served as president of the Sabetha Country Club and was also the secretary/treasurer of the American Legion for several years. Bill was active in the Sabetha First United Methodist Church. He was a member of the local Masonic Lodge for over fifty years and served as Master of the Lodge for one term and a forty year member of the Arab Shrine in Topeka. He was proud to have served as a volunteer fireman in Sabetha for several years.
Bill and Donna were blessed with two daughters, Shari (Bill) Smith of Merriam Ks and Cari (Wes) Kuhl of Parkville Mo. They have six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Funeral service will be Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Sabetha. A visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to service time at the church. The interment will be made in the Sabetha Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sabetha First United Methodist Church or Sabetha Community Hospital sent in care of the Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia Sabetha, Kanas 66534.