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William Gerald Vanderveer


William Gerald "Bill" Vanderveer, 73, of Bandera, passed away Friday, Jan. 6, at University Hospital in San Antonio after a long illness.

He was born in Pearsall on March 14, 1938, to Jack and Luella Vanderveer.

He has a sister, Loretta Nash, of New Braunfels.

After graduating from Bandera High School in 1957, Bill joined the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1964.

He served as an air traffic controller at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport before accepting an apprenticeship with saddlemaker Bill Foster in Denton.

After spending several years perfecting his skills, Bill became art director for the largest saddle manufacturer in the United States - Tandy-Bona Allen. He worked at Bona Allen for approximately seven years before opening his own custom shop, Nighthawk Saddlery, in Argyle.

During his career, Bill built over 1,030 saddles, which can be found all over the United States, seven foreign countries and the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Not only known for his artistic ability with leather, Bill was also a talented sketch artist, author, sculptor and furniture builder from hand-carved cedar.

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Moore Vanderveer; children, Tina Lynn Vanderveer, William Jack Vanderveer and Cora Lizabeth Vanderveer Barker; son-in-law Denny Barker; and two grandsons.

A memorial service will be held at 1 pm, Saturday, Jan. 14, at Bandera United Methodist Church.