Obituary: Stephen Wendel “Steve” Ley
December 19, 2016
Stephen Wendel "Steve" Ley, died at sunrise on Thursday, December 15, 2016 in Houston, Texas after a long battle with dementia.
He was born in Houston, Texas on May 7, 1941 to WendelDuer Ley and Audrey Moody Ley. Steve graduated from Lamar High School in 1959 and Southern Methodist University in 1963, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and where he made many of his life-long friends. Upon graduation he entered the Marine Service, and successfully accomplished the rigors of Camp Quantico and Parris Island training. Steve felt his Marine experience gave him great life lessons and was very proud of his service. He returned to Houston and served in the Marine Reserves. Meanwhile, he entered the land development business where he developed numerous partnerships and joint ventures that developed single and multi-family residential communities as well as retail centers. He had great judgement and earned the respect of his many business associates. He was instrumental in developing The Fairways at Pole Creek community outside of Winter Park, Colo., a 1,000 acre, 27-hole golf course development with magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains. Steve also served on the Board of the Bank of Harris County.
He is survived by his beloved mother, Audrey Moody Ley of Houston, his daughter, Katherine O'Neill (Bill) of Chicago, Ill., his two sons, David Ley (Gisela) of Houston and Kevin Ley (Julie) of Austin, Texas, and the mother of his children, Sharon Ley Leitzow (Bob) of Houston. His four grandchildren include Chris, Charlie and Billy O'Neill and Elizabeth Ley. He is also survived by his loving sisters, Judy Ley Allen of Houston and Diane Ley Espinoza (Antonio) of Asuncion, Paraguay, niece Susan Espinoza Piatkowski (Marc) of Austin, nephew Jorge Espinoza (Maureen) of Boulder, Colo., and grand-nieces and nephew, Sylvia and Carmen Espinoza and Mia and Maximo Piatkowski. He will be missed by many supportive cousins from the Dan Moody and Homer Ley families. He is predeceased by his dear father, WendelDuer Ley, his brother, Robert Moody Ley, sister-in-law, Margaret "Peggy" Ley, and brother-in-law, Robert H. Allen. Steve loved his children dearly and enjoyed many good times with them at the family home in New Braunfels, Texas as well as at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colo. He had a strong passion for SMU football, especially during the "Pony Express" years. Later in his life he spent much of his time at his second home outside of Winter Park, Colo. hiking, fly fishing and playing golf. In fact, Steve enjoyed doing anything outdoors that improved his properties, including clearing brush and planting flowers. He was a voracious reader of history and a "master" jigsaw puzzler. Steve's family would like to thank his long-time assistant, Phyllis Lindquist, his caregiver Wesley Bagot and previous caregiver Terrence McClanahan for their service and support over the years. Friends gathered and shared remembrances of Steve with the family on Monday, December 19, 2016 in the grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The family will hold a private memorial celebration of Steve's life this summer in Tabernash, Colo.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Wendel D. Ley Family YMCA, 15055 Wallisville Road, Houston, TX 77049 or charity of your choice. Please view Mr. Ley's online memorial tribute where condolences may be left at http://www.geohlewis.com under the obituary section. Service arrangements were entrusted to the care of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons – The Funeral Directors, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston, Texas 77057 713-789-3005.