William Edward (Bill) Brewer, singer, songwriter, guitar player, Texas historian and eccentric philosopher, died on Wednesday, August 12 at 10:28 p.m. surrounded by those he loved.
He leaves behind a wife, Judy, of 46 years, four kids, eleven grandkids and eleven great-grandkids. He also leaves a long line of Oreo wrappers, Walmart receipts and a collection of old bottles and fossils.
Bill spent his early childhood only two blocks away from the historic Fort Worth Stockyards before moving to Lake Worth. This began his love for Texas History. He served for decades as the chairman of the Tarrant County Historical Commission and enjoyed his service there. Bill confessed he never really understood the day he lived in, except through the eyes of biblical prophecy and the council of Rush Limbaugh.
“Here's to the sunny slopes of long ago,” he would quote from Lonesome Dove, “and may we all out-live our third wives.”
He had no use for “modern tech” such as smart phones or even things like cruise control, which he confused with the term “auto pilot.” He would say, “I don’t trust ‘em. The Chinese make that junk and they could take it over and drive me off of some mountain somewhere.”
He loved his giant “old-man” cell phone and mourned the day he was forced to work an iPhone by his kids. His adult grandchildren will miss their many “FaceTime” calls from Bill presenting a well-framed video of his elderly ear, having no idea he was supposed to be looking at them through the phone.
Bill excelled at entertaining himself and anyone he would come in contact with. He often took a pocketful of white feathers or even small pieces of paper with him to restaurants. Calling his waitress he would complain his chicken was undercooked, begin to cough and blow feathers out of his fist.
His songwriting and singing caught national attention in the late 70s, and he headlined at major venues like the Louisiana Hayride. However, Bill was known best as the front man for multiple Fort Worth, country and classic rock bands from the 60s through the 90s.
His announcing voice can still be heard on the introduction of the “Experiencing Real Life” radio broadcast. It plays on at least 72 radio stations throughout the United States including locally at 91.7 FM at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Bill would be happy to know you can still hear him after he was gone.
He was self-educated and convinced he could speak Comanche Indian from watching John Wayne movies. He often interpreted the translation of any word from any language, and even any name from any origin. “I know what that means,” he would say with confidence. “The pigs are loose in the kitchen.”
Bill was scared of heights, loud noises, speeds over 30 miles per hour and any meat that was not microwaved to the consistency of a brick.
For 25 years, he attended and worked for OpenDoor Church where he served as an elder the past seven years. His son, Troy Brewer, the senior Pastor of OpenDoor, will greatly miss Bill’s common greeting after each sermon – a quote from The Outlaw Josey Whales: “Well, you fooled ‘em again, Josey.”
Bill commonly carried a big King James Bible but it wasn’t because of his devotion to the word. The inside pages were cut out to hold his pistol which he referred to as his “hawg leg” and sometimes “the rod of vengeance.”
Bill loved people, never met a stranger, and genuinely cared for the comfort and well being of others. He had friends of all ages, races and backgrounds, and held those friendships throughout the decades including his Lake Worth graduating class of 1961. His love for God, Israel and Texas was as genuine as his loving heart and smiling face.
Because of his irrational fear that his family would bury him in a Yankee state, his memorial will be at OpenDoor Church, 301 S. Dobson Street, Burleson, Texas, Tuesday, August 18. The service begins at 12:00 noon for the public.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Messiah’s Mandate (messiahsmandate.org) to support the church in Israel. Bill loved Israel and the jewish people. The family would also like to say thank you to all his friends who wrote, prayed and visited him recently. A very special thank you to Lisa Oakes, Leanna Brewer, Madison Brewer, Maegan Haynes and Rhema Ledbetter for their extreme care and love for him in his last days.
Finally, the family asks that in honor of Bill, you remember the Alamo, “drive like everybody is drunk” and look forward to the imminent return of King Jesus, our blessed hope.
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