Luther Azle Bookout, Jr.

Luther Azle Bookout, Jr.

October 31, 1918 — August 28, 2018

Luther Azle Bookout Jr. passed away into the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Aug. 28, 2018, at the age of 99. Luther was a devoted husband, beloved father, a talented artist, and a faithful servant of the Lord.

Luther is survived by his three children: Jack Bookout (wife Sally) of San Diego, California, Nan Bookout of Arlington, Texas, and Judy Adams (husband Robert) of Round Rock, Texas. Also surviving are five grandsons, David, Brian, and Christoper Bookout, and Matthew and Jared Adams; and four great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Frances Hamner Bookout, in 2015, his brother, Robert Bookout, in 2003, and his grandson, Ethan Adams, in 2010.

Luther was born in Itawamba County, Mississippi on Oct. 31, 1918, to Luther Azle Bookout and Henrietta Senter Bookout. He enjoyed his birthdate, telling others he was a spooky guy. He was lovingly called Grandpa BOOOOkout by his grandsons.

Luther was born into a family of farmers along Bull Mountain Creek in Mississippi and he learned early the value of hard work. In 1923, at age 5, Luther’s father and uncles migrated to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas to pursue year-round farming and better educational opportunities. The Bookout clan purchased land near Santa Rosa, Texas, and proceeded to turn brush, mesquite, and cactus into viable agricultural farmland, growing citrus, vegetables, corn, and cotton. These pioneers worked hard during tough times of depression and a devastating hurricane (1933). Luther, his older brother, and 11 cousins grew up and attended school together in Santa Rosa. Along the way, Luther developed an interest in drawing, finding himself drawing on any paper that he happened across, even book margins. Luther graduated valedictorian in a class of 13 from Santa Rosa High School in 1936. He worked hard the next year, farming land to earn tuition money for the University of Texas. He entered college in 1937 to study art and was in the first graduating class of the School of Art at UT in 1942.

With World War II in full force, Luther enlisted early while in college with the United States Marine Corp in spring 1941 to attend Officer Training School and was called into active duty in 1942. He was assigned to Field Artillery School and joined the C Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, eventually promoting to 1st Lieutenant. While stationed in New Zealand and Guadalcanal, Luther saw action on Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. Semper Fi.

By the time the war was over, Luther rose to rank of captain. Returning home to the Valley, he met his sweetheart, Frances — a war widow with young son, Jack. Luther resigned his commission in 1946 to court Frances. They married in 1947 and Luther adopted Jack as his own. They made their home in Harlingen, Texas, where they were blessed with the addition of daughters, Nan and Judy, to their family.

Luther opened his own commercial art business, Bookout Art & Design, using his art background in advertising, developing artwork, brochures, and logos for clients throughout the Valley. For many years, Luther was the author assigned to paint each year’s All-American Roses for their collector plate series.

Luther professed his faith in Christ at age 12 and his faith was a vital, sustaining part of his life. Luther and Frances were active members of First Baptist Church of Harlingen for 50 years. Luther was a deacon, a Bible teacher, outreach leader, and started a mission church in Arroyo City.

Luther semi-retired and he and Frances split their time between Harlingen and Pagosa Springs, Colorado. They liked to travel and visited 48 states, enjoying this great country. In 1996, they moved to the hill country of Burnet, Texas, to be closer to family. Luther loved to play golf at Delaware Springs in Burnet. At age 80, Luther shot a hole in one and at age 86, he shot his age! Luther and Frances were active members at First Baptist Church of Burnet, where they loved to participate in Main Street Bethlehem during the Christmas season. He was also a member of the church group, ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out) — he loved their fellowship and friendship.

As Frances became ill, Luther was her devoted caregiver until her death in 2015. Luther continued to live independently in his own home until September 2017 at age 98, developing a new hobby — typing stories of his life experiences and family memories. During this past year, Luther moved to assisted living at Brookdale in Georgetown, Texas. A fall, broken leg, and declining health required additional care at Bel Air at Teravista in Round Rock, Texas. The family wishes to thank the caregivers at both facilities and Kindred Hospice for loving and appreciating our father, Mr. Luther, aka “Bookie”.

Luther almost lived to his 100th birthday — such a wealth of life for one man. He will be remembered for his sweet smile, sense of humor, kind heart, independent spirit, and his faithful walk with his God. His favorite song expresses his life — “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”

Funeral was held Saturday, Sept. 1, for visitation with services at First Baptist Church of Burnet and interment followed at Kuykendall Cemetery in Cherokee, Texas. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Burnet designated for Main Street Bethlehem or Mission Projects, P. O. Box 310, Burnet, TX 78611.

Arrangements by Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Burnet. Condolences may be made at clementswilcoxburnet.com.

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