Leo John Bookmiller of Grandfalls, Texas passed away in his home on August 8, 2021 at the age of 90 years old. Leo’s wife Fern Lousie Bookmiller passed away on August 9, 2018 in their home in Grandfalls, Texas at the age of 85 years old. This will not be a usual obituary; this is going to be a partial tale of their 63 years together. He survived through their 66th wedding anniversary. After almost three years he was able to be reunited with his wife Fern Louise Bookmiller again. Leo was also reunited with his daughter Ann Renee Mullins after 14 years.
Leo and Fern got married on August 6, 1955, in New York after dating for roughly three years. The story goes that one day they are sitting next to each other, and Leo looks over at Fern and says, “well I suppose we otta get married” and in that line sparked 63 years of adventures together. For anyone that knew Fern and Leo you know what their adventures looked like. They purchased a home in Bliss, New York off the main highway that would eventually be rebuilt, and they were given their own little lane up to the house. I bet you would never guess what they named it, yup Bookmiller Ave. On that avenue they raised three rowdy children in that home. It faced many dents, dings, and flying things. Both wore many hats, Leo worked as a milk delivery man and Fern worked at the Motorola Factory for many years. They did own their very own grocery store named the Red and White store in Bliss, New York from 1974 till roughly 1990. They acquired the Bliss Water System in 1959 and owned and operated until they moved in 1990 to West Texas.
When they moved to West Texas they rented a small home on 2nd street from the St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Grandfalls, Texas. After several years in that home, they bought their trailer home in 1996 and placed it on their property on Ave F in Grandfalls, Texas. That trailer house almost got sent back to the factory because the moving company thought they were going to have to cut a tree down to get it moved in. Leo made it very clear they move in with the tree where it was or take it back to the factory. Leo got a job a Curley’s Inspection as a pipe inspector and Fern got a job at working at the cafeteria for the Grandfalls Royalty High School. After several years of working for Curley’s inspection Leo semi-retired and went to work for HammCo. as a pumper and did mechanic work on the side. Even though he was down a finger he was still a hell of a mechanic. Fern eventually retired from the school to enjoy her days with the grandkids. Leo officially retired in 2012 after a major heat stroke. Fern and Leo then got to relive their glory days of being with each other all day, every day.
Even after retirement they both stayed as active as they could with the Grandfalls Volunteer Fire Department. Fern was the first of the two to join the fire dept. in 1994, at the time of her passing she had faithfully served 24 years of her service on the ambulance side as well as the fire side of the department. Two years after Fern joining Leo followed behind to join as well. At the time of his passing, he had faithfully served 25 years of his service on the ambulance side and fire side like Fern did. One of the perks of being on the fire department that Fern absolutely enjoyed was going to the pipeline safety meetings to get all the free goodies, ALL THE FREE GOODIES! I believe Leo just enjoyed going for the ride and lunches! You would always see them on the fire truck for the Fire Dept. annual fruit and candy handout on Christmas Eve every year. Fern would always make her famous rolls, coconut cream pie, and cream puffs for the yearly potluck dinner. Leo would bring his sarcasm and jokes for the potluck dinner, everyone always enjoyed that.
Leo and Fern were such a unique couple they would always complain about being stuck with each other, but they were completely inseparable. They did love being with each other through the thick and thin. Leo enjoyed tinkering with vehicles, while Fern enjoyed playing cards, and Yahtzee with the family. Of course, Fern was the master of trash talk while playing! They enjoyed their life with their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. They both lived a full life of happiness and sorrow, but it was a full life regardless. Before Fern passed away, she reminded us not to be sad because she had lived the best and fullest 85 years she could ever ask for. Leo finally understood that peace that Fern had lived by. Three years after her passing he left this earth living off her moto, not to be sad because they did get their best life out of their lifetime.
The family of Leo and Fern Bookmiller would love to give their sincere thanks to all of those who have reached out to offer condolences.
A double memorial service will be held for Leo and Fern Bookmiller at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Grandfalls Royalty High School Auditorium in Grandfalls, Texas. A meal for the public will be provided at the Grandfalls Volunteer Fire Department following the memorial service. Please join the family for the meal to share stories and leave a happy memory in their name.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Grandfalls Volunteer Fire Department P.O. Box 267 Grandfalls, Texas 79742.