Cover photo for William Lee Applegate's Obituary
1960 William 2024

William Lee Applegate

July 12, 1960 — January 3, 2024

Van Horn

William “Bill” Lee Applegate passed away on January 3, 2024 after suffering from complications of an abdominal aortic aneurysm which ruptured while hunting on December 10, 2023. Bill remained in critical condition, fighting hard for 3½ weeks. Bill was surrounded by his family when he passed on the morning of January 3.

Bill lived a full life in his 63 years on earth. He was head-strong from the get-go, enterprising, and an incredibly hard worker, often saying “we’re burning daylight” because he would work from sun-up to sun-down pretty much every day of his life. Bill did a lot of things in his life, among them was fence-builder, rancher, Federal Land Bank President, teacher, but his favorite was trapper. Bill fell in love with trapping as a child and did it before/after school, on weekends, and well into his adult life around other jobs until he earned enough money to pay off his mortgage allowing him the freedom to trap full time. Bill was active in various trapping associations and causes (most notably the TTFHA, serving in various ways including as President). Bill loved nature; his goal for trapping was never to eradicate a species but to promote healthy balance within the animal kingdom and preserve trapping for future generations.

Bill was born at an Airforce base in Dover, Delaware on July 12, 1960 to Lee Roy and Lucy Applegate, but soon they moved on to El Paso. His family grew to include his brother Steve and sister Leslee.  Bill's childhood was filled by helping around the house, repairing cars with his father, working on windmills with his grandfather, hunting and ranching with his uncles.

Bill graduated from Ysleta High School and then attended Sul Ross State University where he met his wife Gloria Watkins; they were married May 17th, 1981. After graduating with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Business, Bill was hired at the Federal Land Bank where he rose up through the ranks to become President of the Marfa branch. Bill was not a natural speaker, but to improve his skills he became active in Toastmasters and listened to countless tapes about public speaking and negotiation, that he also made his daughters reluctantly listen to.

Bill and Gloria had two daughters, who were supported and loved in so many ways. Bill worked to instill life lessons and leave behind life skills for his daughters, in order to make them strong and independent. While Bill was often all about the hard work, he could be silly and carefree, especially on vacations or at parties. Regardless if he was being serious or silly, he often commanded the room with his confidence and had a mesmerizing smile.

Bill was a Christian who gave his heart to his Lord, prayed daily giving thanks for all he had, and wanted more than anything else to eventually be united with his loved ones in Heaven. Bill may have passed on, but he is at peace, finally able to rest after a full life filled with hard work and lots of love; he now resides with his Lord and Savior.

Bill is survived by his wife Gloria Applegate; his children Katy Applegate, Hollee Applegate, and Troy Warren; his three grandsons William, Wyatt, and Jackson Warren; his mother Lucy Applegate; his brother Steve Applegate, sister-in-law Angie, niece Michelle, nephews Steven and Michael Allen Applegate, and their mother Charlene; his sister Leslee Martin, brother-in-law Cody, and nephews Michael Lee Christiansen, Shane and Norman Martin. Bill was preceded in death by his father, Lee Roy Applegate who passed in April 2023, as well as beloved grandparents, uncles, and aunts.

The funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Marfa on Saturday, January 20, starting with visitation at 10am CST and service at 11am CST, which will be followed by lunch. Afterwards, the burial will take place at the Sierra Blanca Cemetery at 4pm CST/3pm MST on January 20.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Lee Applegate, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 20, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, January 20, 2024

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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