William Edwards "Bill" Morgan, Jr.

  • Born: December 13, 1931
  • Died: February 19, 2021
  • Location: Sunnyvale, Texas

Eastgate Funeral Home & Cremation Services

1910 Eastgate Drive
Garland, TX 75041

Tel. (972) 270-6116

Tribute & Message From The Family

Bill Morgan, former public relations director for the Southwest Conference and noted Texas courthouse historian and artist, passed away February 19, 2021, at the age of 89. Always proud of being a fourth generation Texan, Bill was born in Laredo, Texas, and received a journalism degree from the University of Texas in 1953. He was sports editor for the Lufkin Daily News from 1953 to 1955, when he went to the Dallas Morning News as a sportswriter. In 1960, the fledgling Dallas Cowboys hired him away from the Morning News to work in their public relations department.

He worked for the Cowboys until 1965, when he went back to his first love, the newspaper business. He was on the city desk at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1966, then worked the city desk and as a feature writer for Sunday Magazine with the Dallas Times Herald from 1966 to 1969. He left the Herald in 1969 to take a job as public relations director for the Southwest Conference, where he stayed until he retired in 1986.

While with the SWC, Bill regularly wrote for Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine, which was, and still is, the Bible for football afficionados in Texas. On the magazine's 30th anniversary, Taylor Publishing released The Best of Dave Campbell's Texas Football in coffee table book format, covering the years 1960 to 1989. Of the 32 articles compiled as the "best" during that period, 6 were written by Bill.

During the time he worked for the SWC, Bill created and drew a syndicated comic strip called Sport Day, and he illustrated the NCAA football, basketball, and baseball rules books. In retirement, Bill continued to write, draw, and do public relations work. A tremendous artist, in the early '90s, he sketched old churches in Dallas County, researched their histories and architecture, and compiled them into a calendar for 1992 called Covenants on the Prairie.

Inspired by his elder daughter's law practice, he began researching and painting Texas county courthouses as a hobby, starting with Dallas County. Following the Covenants on the Prairie calendar, he put together a series of courthouse calendars for 1995 through 1999 based on his paintings and histories. He was approached by a Fort Worth publisher to turn the calendar subjects into a coffee table book, which resulted in the publication in 1999 of Old Friends: Great Texas Courthouses.

Bill is survived by his wife of 66 years LaVenia; son Eddie; and daughters Susan Farris (husband Mike) and Kelly Griffin (husband Jon and his children Alex Griffin (wife Stephanie) and Madison Griffin).

Memorials in Bill's name may be made to Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, P.O. Box 13497, Austin, TX 78711, https://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/texas-courthouse-stewardship or your favorite animal welfare group/shelter.

Please join us for a Wake celebrating Bill: Saturday, May 15, 2:00-4:00, outside on the Luna Deck, Rockwall Golf & Athletic Club, 2600 Champions Drive, Rockwall, Texas. A wake because Bill wanted a party, NOT a funeral. We will share funny stories, favorite memories, and lots of laughs. Please be prepared to tell YOUR memories at the Wake. If you can not attend or if you suffer from stage fright, please email your story to msfarris1@att.net and we will read it at the party.

Bill Morgan: December 13, 1931- February 19, 2021


Condolence & Memory Journal

We all enjoyed Bill Morgan here at Brookdale Club Hill, a good friend to many.
It was enjoyable, seeing his friends & family visiting him so often. They seemed to really enjoy their visits, & other people would also gather around.
I enjoyed watching Bill, when we often had entertainers. He would sit ‘way over at the side of the resident audience & draw a picture of them as they performed. He had a terrific style, often making them almost to be cartoons. He would give them his drawing when they finished & were leaving!
We miss him!
Ann Moore

Posted by Ann Moore - Garland, TX - neighbor   June 07, 2021

There just has never been another person quite like
Bill. He has been a hero of mine for a long time, since his time doing SWC. But i am also a fan of his art from the courthouses to paintings.
I was on a road trip with Bro. Bill Sanderson and we stopped at Hotel Eklund in Clayton NM at he bar/restaurant where there was a legend of a ghost. there is a painting by Bill there that actually contains the ghost; it was really cool to see it there.
RIP old friend, you had a hell of a great run!

Posted by Larry Tucker - Quitman, TX - Friend   April 22, 2021

LeVenia, Susan, Kelly and Eddie.... I just today found out about Bill's passing while visiting with Kevin Sherrington. Bill was and will always be one of the most significant friends of my entire life. You know I worked for him for 6 SWC season and he was a funny, tough boss and a friend that I needed. Anything I've accomplished in my working career I owe much of it to Bill. He hired me from the Irving Daily News in 1978 and that set me on a path to now a 43-year career in sports communications. He gave me responsibility and taught me attention to detail. He taught me life lessons that I use to this day. Bill had a tremendous work ethic that he pounded into me thank God. He worked equally hard to promote each sport even when some of those coaches didn't always return the respect. Together he and I pulled off organizing six summer Football Press Tours and six SWC Basketball Tournaments. Those were big deals. Because Bill hired me, I got to form personal friendships with some of the most iconic sports journalists of all time (Sherrod, Cook, Galt, St. John, Glieber, Lundquist, Sherrington, Galloway, Sham, Campbell... just to name a few). When I left Dallas for the A&M SID job in 1984, Bill supported me even though I don't think he was convinced it was my best move. Finally, it's been several years since I tipped a few with him in College Station when he came through to promote his book of courthouse art, but we shared stories and laughs like old times. And he certainly still beamed when he talked about his family. He was so proud of all of you. I'm absolutely a better man for having known Bill. Prayers and love to you all....

Posted by Tom Turbiville - College Station, Texas, TX - friend   March 11, 2021

I will miss this dear sweet man! He and the girls quickly became extended family to us when we moved to Brookdale. It brings me such sadness to think I will never be able to listen to his funny stories, see the silly cartoons he would create for you or be part of one of his great adventures. He made the day brighter!

Posted by Jeanne Jakubowski - Garland,, TX - Family Friend   March 03, 2021

Mr. Morgan was always a funny and friendly man. He always made you feel welcome in his home. I especially enjoyed his way of making you feel like somebody. Thank you Bill and for a legacy of friendliness.

Posted by Cathy Crannell Pitt - Carrollton, TX - friend   March 01, 2021