DEAL, William Clay “Bill” – Sunrise: 11 October 1939, Sunset: 7 January 2019. “Ambassador” always comes to mind when we think of this sweet man, as he knew no strangers and loved making people feel welcomed and comfortable in his presence. He was gifted with the love of languages, conversation, and storytelling. His fight with cancer and COPD has ended and he has gone to a peaceful place.
Bill was a proud father of two surviving sons and their families: William Clay Deal, Jr. and his spouse Robert Ian Betts, living in Austin, Texas; and Kenneth Lynn Deal, his wife Leigh Andra Mitchell, and their three children: Norah Kate, Collin Stewart, and Myra Joy, living in Dallas, Texas. He is also survived by his brother Ernest Linwood Deal, Jr. and his wife Keith Schulz, living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He shared love, laughter, and life for the past 25 years with Martha “Marti” Kaye Fox. He is additionally survived by one cousin, Sara “Sallie” Francis Hamill of Houston, Texas; former brother-in-law John Louis Murad of Dallas, Texas; five nephews, three nieces and their sixteen children.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest Linwood Deal and Nell Nichols Willingham; dear wife Luz Stella Grajales Marulanda, of Armenia, Colombia; and sisters Sarah Willingham Deal (Henry Louis Eugene “Bud” Chenoweth); and Mary Nell Deal. He is also preceded in death by his sister-in-law Mary Louise Cooper, wife of brother Ernest.
His gift with people made him a successful real estate broker throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1987, he became a brick and fireplace specialist until his retirement in 2016. He graduated from Richardson High School (Richardson, Texas) in 1958, and North Texas State University (currently the University of North Texas – Denton, Texas) in 1963, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve (1957-1962).
He was a life-long learner, an avid reader, and enjoyed genealogy research. He was a news fanatic. He enjoyed “playing hooky” in the mid-1990s to participate in non-speaking roles in Dallas-made movies and the Walker, Texas Ranger TV show. He always had a crossword puzzle in the works.
After retirement, his passion for politics soared and he became active with Metrocrest Democrats of North Texas and, more importantly, believed in and solicited voter enrollment in high schools, colleges, and places of worship, and worked in the Dallas voter polls for several years.
Bill loved to travel with Marti, his boys, family and friends to new places to learn new languages, try new activities, and enjoy local cuisine. He always made his home available for family, friends, and neighbors and would welcome you at the door with a firm handshake or a hug, and the phrase “Get in this house!” - always glad to see you and always sharing his love for your visit. His spirit lives on in all of us he has touched along the way and we celebrate a life well-lived.
We will celebrate Bill’s life on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Las Colinas Country Club, 4400 N O’Connor Rd., Irving, TX 75062, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM by sharing stories and memories and finish with his favorite toast - "¡Salud, pesetas y amor y tiempo para gozarlos!" (“Health, wealth and love and time to enjoy!”).
As one of his passions was helping survivors of suicide, we ask that any donations be made to the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas: https://www.sccenter.org/donate/