Bill Puett Jr. of Whitney, Texas passed away on April 27th, 2019 at the age of 84. Bill was born on April 20, 1935 in Temple, Texas to William A. Puett, Sr. and Martha Jane Puett. He graduated from Temple High School in 1953, Temple Junior College in 1955, received a B.B.A. degree from Baylor University in 1957 and an Insurance Degree from Purdue University in 1967. Bill was honorably discharged from the United States Army Reserves in 1961.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Phylis Jean Puett; children Scott Puett of San Antonio, Sandra Puett Ridley and husband Pat of Belton, Steve Puett of Temple, Susan Puett Wilson and husband David of Temple, Richard Evans of Whitney, and his sister Elaine Tomlin of Temple. His legacy will live on through his grandchildren, Michael Dent, Jessica Dent, Danielle Puett Taylor, Jordan Puett, Philip Leicht, Patrick Ridley II and Matt Ridley; and 11 great grandchildren and extended family.
His work history began as the Manager at Safeway in Waco, Bryan and Temple from 1957-1965. His insurance career began in 1965 and expanded through 1992. He worked in the foodservice business for McLane Foodservice Co., and Sysco Foodservice Co. from 1992 to 1998 as the District Sales Manager. He joined Performance Food Group in 1998 as District Sales Manager and after serving for more than 20 years retired in January of 2019 as the Director of Training. In 2014 he joined the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation Board of Directors and served with the National Restaurant Association as an Instructor and Proctor for ServSafe.
Bill was a member of the Temple Planning & Zoning Commission as Vice Chairman from 1967 thru 1969. He served on the Temple City Commission from 1970 thru 1978, and was Mayor Pro-Tem for the City of Temple from 1974 thru 1975. He was a member of many Lodges, Clubs and Fraternities including Knob Creek Masonic Lodge #401, Baylor University Ex-Student Association as Past President, and the Texas Association of Life Underwriters. He participated in many public and civic activities most of his life in the Bell County area including Temple Chamber of Commerce, Past President of Temple Jaycees, Past Director of Ralph Wilson Boys Club, Past Director of Temple Civic Theatre, Past Director of Texas Law Enforcement and Youth Development, and a member of the Bell County/Mary Hardin-Baylor College Educational Foundation. Bill received many awards throughout his lifetime including Outstanding Young Man in Temple in 1964, and numerous awards from Franklin Life Insurance Company from 1965 thru 1981, and was well known as "Mr. Insurance" in the Temple area. Bill also received awards throughout his 20 year career with Performance Food Group.
Bill loved to go hunting, deep sea fishing, and traveling. Family was a huge part of Bill's life and he and Jean enjoyed spending time together at their "ranch" in Whitney and living life. They had many adventures together from stopping at every yard sale, garage sale or flea market they may pass to find a "treasure", doting on their beloved pets, and their annual vacations to Hawaii.
Bill always had a smile on his face, had a multitude of friends and never met a stranger. He had a way of making you feel like you knew him most of your life after one chance encounter. Bill's spirit will live on in his family, friends and co-workers. He touched so many lives during his lifetime and has left an incredible mark on so many people who crossed his path. Words from his work family state "His positive nature was infectious and a blessing to all. Those of you who had the pleasure of interacting and working with him can attest that he had the true heart of a servant leader. For that we say "mahalo" for all that he has done for us and "aloha" toward the next stage of his eternal journey."
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home, 500 W. Barton Avenue at 11am Saturday, May 4th in Temple.
The family would request that memorials be made to a favorite charity of your choice in Bill's honor.
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