Description: Lease, Bill

L. William “Bill” Lease

Kirkland, WA


Former Casper and Worland resident, Leslie William “Bill” Lease, 91, of Kirkland, WA passed away quietly, with his family at his side, at his home on April 9, 2012


Bill was born on May 5, 1920 in Fatehgarh, India, a son of missionary parents.  He spent his first 10 years in that country.


He attended Lafayette College in Easton, PA to become a Petroleum Geologist.  He then did graduate studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.  His graduate work was interrupted by World War II when he served for three years in the U. S. Army Air Corps.  He served as an electronics and communications officer in the Philippines and Japan and was discharged as a First Lieutenant in May 1946.


Bill then started his career as a petroleum geologist for Texaco in Casper, WY before going to work for Ziegler Exploration of Denver, CO.  He was the geologist in charge the development of the Bonanza Oil Field east of Manderson, WY in the early 1950’s.


He then worked as an independent consulting geologist for the next 20 years before joining Nuclear Dynamics as a project geologist in a uranium exploration venture in Wyoming with Bethlehem Steel Company.  He served as the staff geologist, and as Senior Geologist, of the Casper district office with Bendix Field Engineering Corp. who was a prime contractor to the U.S. Dep. of Energy in its National Uranium Resource Estimate (NURE) Project.  He served a project manager for “deep” drilling projects for uranium in central New Mexico and northwest Arizona.


He retired from Bendix Field Engineering Corp. when his part of the NURE Project was completed.  He then joined Daniel Oil Co/Partner Oil Co of Houston, TX as a fulltime consultant for two years opening an office for them in 1981 in Grand Junction, CO.  Bill retired permanently in 1983, but maintained interest in his profession.


Bill had been a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist since from 1949, and was a Member Emeritus of the association at the time of his passing, a 63 years member.  He also was a member of the American Institute of Professional Geologist, a certified Petroleum Geologist, and a member of the Wyoming Geological Association.


Bill married the former Peggy Sneed in July 1961.  The couple raised their children Sheri and Debra in Worland and Casper.  He was an avid skier who was instrumental, along with a group of investors, in the development of Meadowlark Ski Area in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.


He was an avid photographer who loved taking photos of the mountains in Wyoming and Colorado.  Bill loved to walk and was nicknamed “Wyoming Bill” by his friends in the park near his home in Kirkland.  He loved to photograph the scenery and the wildlife during the 20 years he was able to walk the park, and was inspiration to everyone he met there.


Bill is survived by his wife Peggy Lease of Kirkland, WA, his daughter Sheri of Kenmore, WA and Debra of Kirkland, WA, by his sister Dorothy Burns of Vienna, VA and his brother John Lease of Seaford, DE.  His parents and one brother precede him in death.


A memorial service will be held and his ashes will be buried in the Ten Sleep Cemetery in the summer of 2012, near the mountains he loved so dearly.