Ben Walter LeTourneau
LONGVIEW — Ben Walter LeTourneau, 86, went to be with His Lord and was reunited with many loved ones on February 15, 2021 in Longview, TX leaving a lasting legacy of love for Jesus, humor, quiet wisdom, and engineering feats that will not soon be forgotten.
Ben was born March 21,1934, the youngest son of R.G. and Evelyn LeTourneau. He moved to Longview with his family in 1946 and graduated from Longview High in 1951 while simultaneously attending LeTourneau Technical Institute, graduating in 1952. In 1953, Ben married his childhood sweetheart, Bettye Locker, daughter of Daisy Plummer and Monroe Locker.
Ben lived for 13 years in Vicksburg, MS, working as General Manager of LeTourneau Manufacturing Plant building earthmoving equipment, making bombs for the U.S. government, as well as manufacturing 37+ offshore drilling platforms, of which their first customer was George Bush Sr. While in Vicksburg, Bettye gave birth to all 4 of their children. In 1967, Ben moved to Longview to act as Vice President and Director of Manufacturing of both Vicksburg and Longview. He resigned the position of Director in 1968 to finish his education, graduating in 1970 in the top 10% of his class at Texas A & M.
After Ben’s father, R.G. went home to Jesus in 1969, the Manufacturing Company was sold and Ben and his brother Roy moved to Florida with their families to own and operate a John Deere commercial machine business for 5 years, returning to Longview with their 4 children and 2 “adopted” daughters, Patricia Musser and Delora Stanton. Ben assisted Bettye and her sister with the running of their small art & craft business for nearly 20 years along with their daughter, Janine.
Ben felt that God wanted him to work wherever he was called, so he and Bettye closed their business, sold their home, and moved into their motorhome. Over the next 20 years, they served the Lord in various places. They spent the majority of each year in Baltimore, Maryland, serving as manager, repairman, groundskeeper, and running the kitchen (Bettye) at Camp WoMeTo. They also served at several youth camps, at Rio Grande Bible Institute, and spent several years in Oklahoma City helping to build a church.
Mr. LeTourneau is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Bettye LeTourneau of Longview, TX; 3 children: Sherrye Alyce Coles (Steve), Mark Alden LeTourneau (Debbie), and Janine Joy Hedgpeth (Joel), 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild; and sister-in-law, Joyce LeTourneau.
Ben is preceded in death by father R.G. LeTourneau; mother Mary Evelyn (Peterson) LeTourneau; sister Louise Dick (Gus); brothers Caleb, Don (Wilma), Richard (Louise), Roy (Shirley), Ted, and as well as son, Roy Walter LeTourneau, and son-in-law Steve Coles.
Funeral Details - Service to be held at Hope Fellowship Church, 300 Hollybrook Dr. , Longview. February 23 at 1:00pm, Internment at Memory Park Cemetery, 2823 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. An online guestbook may be signed at www.raderfh.com
Where to send flowers - Rader Funeral Home, Longview
Memorial gifts - Ben LeTourneau Memorial Fund, LeTourneau University, Fine Arts Department (Piano), 2100 S. Mobberly Ave., Longview, Texas 75602
Live Streaming - http://hopefellowshiplongview.org Click on the LeTourneau Memorial link
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