Billie B Lefler, 83 of Hot Springs Village, passed away on Monday, September 25, 2017.
Major General Bill B. Lefler was born in Rawlins, Wyoming on 20, October 1933. Bill grew up in Clinton, Arkansas where he was active in sports church and his community. He attended Hendrix College from 1951-1953. While at Hendrix, He met his future bride, Carolyn Ellis. They were married in 1955. He graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry in 1956 and was commissioned in the Army in 1956. During his military career of over 34 years, General Lefler distinguished himself as a clinician, teacher, administrator, and leader. He held a wide variety of important command and staff positions culminating in 1986, when he was selected as the Assistant surgeon General for Dental Services and the twentieth Chief of the Army Dental Corps and promoted to Major General. Following his retirement, General Lefler joined the staff of the American Dental Association as Assistant Executive Director for the Division of Legislative Affairs and director of the Washington, DC office of the American Dental Association.
In January 1995 General Lefler moved back to his home state of Arkansas. He practiced dentistry at Cordoba Center Dental Clinic (now Lefler Dental) from 1996 until 2013.
He served on numerous boards and committees such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Donald W Reynolds Center for aging. He was proud in helping to get recognition for Hot Springs Village as a volunteer community of the year for Arkansas in 2000.
The governor appointed him as the initial Chairman of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission.
Bill was an active member of the village United Methodist Church, where he was on the pastoral council, sang in the choir, played in the band, and taught an annual bible study class for 17 years.
He was involved in many organizations. Some of them were VFW, MOAA, Evening Lions and Cedar Mountain Singers where he was the Master of Ceremonies. He was well known for telling corny jokes. If he wasn’t a member of an organization, he was always seen in the audience enthusiastically supporting them.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years Carolyn, daughter Tracey Salter (Jack), sons Dr. Tom Lefler (Cindy) and Dr. Mark Lefler (Katherine), 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
General Lefler was a man of passions-family, friend’s community, and country.
The celebration of his life will be 11 AM Saturday, October 7th at the Village United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers the family request gifts to be made to the Village United Methodist Church, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, or Intrepid Fallen Hero’s Fund, (www.fallenherosfund.org)
The Doctors and Staff at South Central GI and Endoscopy Center send our condolences for your loss of Major General Bill B. Lefler. His service to our community and our Country is appreciated by all. In his memory we have donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during your time of loss.
Many Blessings and Love from me here in NC. I was. Dental Asst here at Ft Bragg for many years and have met Bill and Wife Carolyn many times! A Great Soldier and always greeted me with hugs. I was so Sad to hear this news. God Bless All and RIP Soldier and Friend. Joan.
It is with deep regret we learned of Bill's passing. We have lost a great friend and champion of Army Medicine. His many contributions to the Army Dental Corps will be fondly remembered by all who had the opportunity to serve with this great man. Please accept our condolences.
Margaret and I extend our condolences to Carolyn and the family. General Lefler was a friend, colleague and a great supporter of many careers in Army dentistry, and Army dentistry in general. We will long remember our experiences with General Lefler and his support in so many ways. Memories of a life well lived will hopefully support all those who know him and will last forever. Our prayers to the family and all whom he touched!/ John and Margaret Zweig
Please accept my heartfelt condolences. My husband, Don Boerner, admired the General and was a former patient. I am currently a patient of Tom Lefler and will be unable to attend the celebration of General Lefler's life as I will be out of the country.
Thank you, General Lefler, for sharing your life with us and with Faith UMC in Hot Springs. You were such a blessing to our little church when you came and spoke about your career in the US Armed Forces and in the Army of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We love you and we send our special condolences to your beloved family who will miss you dearly. Thank you for your witness to the many who learned so much from you. Thank you for being my Dentist and for your generous spirit you shared with everyone who met you. Our arms of love are extended to your dear wife Carolyn as she learns to live without her precious mate. Blessings, Rev. Wanda Murray and Dr. Richard Leach
Did not know him well but admired what he had accomplished in life, his many activities in the Village and especially his wit. He made a difference, a big difference, and I'm sure he will be missed by all of his family and friends.
You all have my deepest sympathy.
Dear Carolyn, Tom and Family,
Please accept my deepest sympathy on the passing of MG Lefler. He was truly a great Corps Chief! I especially appreciate his dedication as a consultant to the AEGD 12-Month Program at Ft. Campbell, KY.
Peace to you!
MG Lefler was a special leader in the Dental Corps and his infectious warmth and genuineness made him beloved by all. I am saddened by his passing, but grateful for the opportunity to have been touched by his life. Blessings to his family.
So sad to lose such a wonderful human being. He was always quick with a smile or hug and lots of funny stories. My condolences to Dr. Tom Lefler and his family, he was truly a unique and caring person.
Green Dental Lab
We are so sorry for the loss your family is suffering at this time. What a wonderful and full life he led and enjoying it all til the end.
Our hearts and love are with you all as you go through this difficult time. Sincerely, Tom and Carolyn
So sad to hear of MG Lefler's passing; end of an amazing era. He was a great prosthodontist, amazing leader of the US Army Dental Corps, and a genuine person. General Lefler studied people: he recalled not only names and faces, he knew them. He will be missed. His example in honoring others will remain in my heart. Deepest sympathy.
My wife and I send our condolences to Carolyn and the family for the loss of Major General Bill B. Lefler. He was one of the greatest Army Dental Corps leaders we had, and always treated me with dignity and respect while providing guidance and leadership. I thank him for what I accomplished while I was on active duty. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss.
He was a wonderful example of a good leader. He knew everyone's name and that was impressive to new captains. We also loved his piano playing . Our condolences along with our appreciation for what true military leaders can be. Actions speak the loudest to make the best example. Angela and Phil Render (Col Ret USA DC
It was an honor to know MG Lefler during his Military Career and after he and Ms. Carolyn moved back to Arkansas. He truly was a leader who lead by example. His quote "An Once of Example is Worth a Ton of Talk" exemplified his leadership philosophy. Dr. Lefler was truly a wonderful Soldier, Clinician, and Friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
General Lefler, you were a great leader, mentor and friend. Marcia, Rebecca and I will miss you. You had such a positive impact on my life and career, and I thank you for that. We have so many fond memories; one of my favorites was you and my young daughter sitting side by side at a piano and playing together. You always had a smile on your face and made a point of greeting, and shaking hands, with everyone at any gathering. Rest in Peace my friend. We will keep Carolyn and all of your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Kay and I were saddened to hear of the passing of General Billy B. Lefler, a great military leader and dental clinician. In the early '70s, I saw the LTC Lefler give a presentation on the preparation of anterior teeth, "live" via video in the old Sternberg Auditorium at Walter Reed. From then on, he was a leader I looked up to as a role model and mentor. I always enjoyed seeing him through my 30 year career in Army. We shared some great times in Europe and Berlin, as well as in the States. He almost got me fired when he whipped up my Berlin Boss in a hot handball match. His son Tom and I were watching in the gallery and General Lefler lost the first several points. I turned to Tom and said: "I thought you said your Dad was the best!" Tom replied: "Just watch." My Berlin Boss never got another point in again. Then there was the time the Berlin DENTAC took General Lefler to "EAST BERLIN" to a famous "Commie" restaurant. The room to left of ours was reserved for the Russians. The room to our right was packed with Communist Officials from East Berlin. The "One Man Band," as the East Berlin entertainer was known, serenaded us with his violin and had a liking for "Westerners" and their "tips." General Lefler did one of his famous "impromptus" by unexpectedly jumping up going to the piano. Within seconds they became the Two Man Band, to the delight of everyone in our room. However, the One Man Band, pulled out a tape from somewhere and turned up the sound to "very loud." It was the "Stars and Stripes Forever." That's when I got a concerned nod from our armed military (spook) escort. It was time to go! Then there was the time the General Lefler insisted on accompanying me to the British Sector of West Germany for one of the Brits' Dining In's. When the chug-a-lug hop over a line of chairs game began, I told General Lefler: "Don't drink the beer. Pour it down your front." He didn't and literally fell over the chairs. Needless to say, I had to carry him back to his quarters. Two weeks later at a "fun run" in Frankfort Carolyn grabbed me and said: "What did you do to my poor Billy." General Lefler quickly showed me his extensive "back and blue" bruises and laughed. I guess the game and beer was just too much for him. Ah, those were days. I'm sure God is looking after General Lefler now but has told him: "There's no beer in Heaven." He and Carolyn will always be remembered by me and Kay. He will forever be in our prayers. May his soul rest in Eternal Peace!
We had the pleasure meeting MG Lefler in 1983. He was charming and caring. Over the years each time we crossed paths we found him to be an amazing man who truly cared for the people he worked with. His amazing knack for details about each and everyone he met was uncanny. He cared so very deeply about his family, his country and the Army Dental Corps. He is a treasure lost but never forgotten.
Rest In Peace Sir
I have known Billy Lefler for most of his 34 years in the Army and had the honor of serving with him in two major headquarters in Germany and Washington. My wife Marilyn and I treasured the friendship of Carolyn and Billy, and will always remember great times together. We offer our deepest condolences to Carolyn and the entire family.