William David "Bill" Hallmark was born on November 9, 1919, at the Graphite Mines, in western Burnet County, and passed away on February 1, 2023. He was the fifth of eight children born to Pierson Dillon Hallmark and Ora Davis Hallmark. Pierson and Ora also had a son, Dillon Davis, who died at about a year old.
Bill lived a nomadic style of childhood, as the family was always moving from place to place; their dad trying to find work to support the family. These times, the late 1920's and 1930's, marked the Great Depression. History talks of the "Roaring 20's", but in central Texas, this was far from the case. Times were hard for most folks.
Bill lived a carefree "Tom Sawyer" type of childhood, and had story upon story about things he did, events, and responsibilities he tackled and that occurred; of which parents of today would not even consider placing upon their children or letting them do. He liked the typical things of a youth at those times, horses, cowboying, fishing, hunting, cars, girls, and the list goes on.
He lived in western Burnet County, along Council Creek in Burnet County, the city of Burnet itself, the community of Bluffton, where his dad ran the cotton gin, before Lake Buchanan was built and the waters of the lake covered the area, including Bluffton. He finished up his teenage years living in Llano County, near the Click/Honey Creek area, and finally, Valley Spring. It was while they were in the Click area, that he met his future bride, Mary Adelaide Moore. They were both on horseback, coming from their respective homes, heading for their school, the Honey Creek school, and their paths crossed. She was twelve and he, fourteen. They were married six years later.
He and Adelaide were married on October 6, 1940, at the Lynn Nobles home in Bluffton. About a year after their marriage, they bought a little 16'x24' house on West College Street, in Llano, for $300, and that put an end to the wanderings of Bill and Adelaide. Through the years they raised seven children in this home, and the home grew, as the family grew. Adelaide, and Bill, both lived in the house on the Hallmark hilltop for the remainder of their lives, and died there as well.
Bill entered World War II in November of 1944, in the Navy as a Seabee. He was first called up in about 1943, wanted to be a Marine, but was told the quotas were full; to go home and he would be called later. He was called in 1944, became a Navy Seabee, and was sent to Hawaii; to Honolulu, to train for the future invasion of Japan. Before they were deployed, however, the war ended by the use of the atomic bomb. The Seabees who were known as the "Seabees, We Build, We Fight, Can Do!!!"; were the "combat engineers" of the Navy, and typically saw a high injury/mortality rate. The use of the atomic bomb may well have saved his life. He was discharged shortly after Japan surrendered, as he had a family, including his wife and three little boys. He was a proud World War II veteran.
Bill was a lifelong builder and craftsman. He built many homes and business buildings in the central Texas area; many with his longtime partner and double-first cousin, Aubrey Hallmark, as well as other relatives. He, his father, and brother Leland, built the original Llano Church of Christ building, and the auditorium, which dates back to 1940.
In his later years he was known for his cabinet making skills. He built numerous small chests (which he called cat coffins), large steamer trunks, China cabinets, pie safes, tables, mirrors, and the list goes on. He is possibly best known for his foot stools, where he made over 650; up to the age of 99. He also built his own coffin, in which he is being interred.
Bill was raised in the Church of Christ. His mother tried her best to raise her children in the church and even started some worship services in an area where there was no church. He was most known for his song leading abilities, leading singing in numerous congregations throughout central Texas. He was a stickler for "getting to church on time", and as the kids got older, ran off and left them sometimes, threatening them if they didn't get to church on time, on their own! He by no means was a perfect Christian, but confessed his wrongs as necessary, and was content in his relationship with God almighty.
He was preceded in death by his parents, all of his siblings, his wife Adelaide, and a grandson, Brandon Hallmark. He is survived by sons Alfred, Davis (Poochie) & wife Sandy, Clay & wife Karen, daughter Lynda (Sissy) and late husband Bob, brothers Roy & wife Cindy, Vander & wife Cindy, and daughter Melissa & husband Charlie. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Bill's wishes included having his grandchildren act as honorary pallbearers. Also, in lieu of flowers, he wanted donations to be made to the Bluffton Cemetery Association, PO Box 111, Bluffton, TX 78607.
A special thank you to the Veterans Administration, the Altus Hospice Program, and all those others who gave Bill such good care during his later years. We want to especially thank the staff of the Altus Hospice Program for the fine professional and loving care they gave him during the final days of his journey.
Bill will be buried in the Bluffton Cemetery Monday, February 6, 2023 beginning at 1:00 pm alongside his wife Adelaide.