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William L. Backus

William L. Backus

March 7, 1934 – July 29, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020

William “Bill” Lael Backus, a resident of San Marcos for 77 years, passed away on July 29, 2020 at the age of 86. Bill was born to Lael Oren Backus and Hazell Willie Pickard Backus on March 7, 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bill moved from Fort Worth to San Marcos when he was 9 years old and was immediately put on the back of a horse. It wasn’t love at first sight (looking from the ground up) but his love for thoroughbreds and horse racing continued until his passing. He owned and trained a few TB’s, and even had a few win pictures taken. He was a graduate of San Marcos High School class of 1952. Following graduation, he was inspired by John Wayne and joined the United States Marines Corp serving from 1953 to 1956 during the Korean War.

In 1956 Bill moved back to San Marcos and married Barbara Lynn Peterson in 1958. He graduated from Southwest Texas State University approximately 10 years later from of a dare that he wouldn’t graduate. He worked in the tax field for many years and became Chief Appraiser for Hays Appraisal District. After retirement he continued to have fun with many lifelong friends playing the ponies, bowling and a participating in a few “wino opens.” Bill has been quoted saying, “Don’t worry about me; I’ve had a damn good life.”

Bill is preceded in death by his parents and wife Barbara. He is survived by his two daughters, Christy Lynn Williams and Jacquelynne Jazette Hudson/ Wade Hampton Hudson; granddaughters Kimberly Gayle Scott and Tracey Lynne Ross; grandsons Patrick Lael Williams and Michael Davis Williams, Jr.; and four wonderful great grandsons: Conner and Colby Ross and Landon and Wyatt Scott.

The family wants to express their deepest gratitude to Advent Health Care, formerly Hays Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, for their caring and support these past few years.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer’s Association would be greatly appreciated. Graveside services are scheduled to take place Tuesday, August 4 at 10 a.m. at the San Marcos City Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Thomason Funeral Home. For more information and to sign the online registry, please visit

“Don’t worry. Be Happy.”

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666