Leslie Eugene Talbert
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Leslie Eugene Talbert
  • April 25, 1921 - August 3, 2017
  • Abilene, Texas

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Leslie Eugene "Les" Talbert, Jr., 96, of Abilene was a loving, Christian, and devoted family man and friend, died August 3, 2017. Mr. Talbert was born at home on April 25, 1921 in Waco, TX to Leslie Talbert, Sr. and Pauline Woodall Talbert. The family moved in 1930 to Happy, TX where he grew up. He played clarinet in the Happy "Uncle Sam" high school band, played football & track, F.F.A President, an honor student, and Who's Who in Texas High Schools. Leslie graduated from West Texas A & M University in Canyon, TX with a B.A. degree in 1949; his Master of Music degree was from the University of Texas in 1953, with credits toward a PHD. Mr. Talbert is a longtime member of First United Methodist Church, where held various leadership positions and a member of the Harvesters Class. Other memberships were in Lions Club, Gideons International, and life member of Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity. Mr. Talbert taught school in Texas Public Schools for 37 years (23 of those years in Abilene ISD) as a Band Director, Instrumental Music Teacher, and Public School Music Teacher. Also, he directed choirs in several communities, as well as participating in the Abilene Community Band. He loved children and volunteered in Boy Scouts, church groups and school activities. After retiring from teaching, he worked for Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home for 20 years. During World War II (1942-1946), Mr. Talbert was a Platoon Sergeant Cadreman in the Infantry Training School at Ft. McClellan, Alabama training radio, switch-board and communication specialists in International Morse Code. He fought in Europe with the 29th Infantry Division, H.Q. Co., 2nd BN, 115th Infantry Regt. in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany. In Wellendorf, Germany, 132 German soldiers surrendered to him leading to Mr. Talbert being awarded the Bronze Star. Leslie played his saxophone in the 115th Infantry "Combat Joe's" band in Europe at the close of the war. Leslie is preceded in death by wife, Ruth Talbert; his parents, Leslie Talbert, Sr. and Pauline Talbert; his brother, Wayne Talbert; and his son, Bobby Talbert. He is survived by his daughter, Linda Wheeler and husband, Mickey of Lewisville, TX; grandson, David Wheeler and wife, Tina of Flower Mound, TX; great-granddaughters, Lauren and Ellie Wheeler; nephew, Wayne Hayden Talbert; nieces, Lora Nell Strickland, and Connie Lovell and their families; and numerous cousins and families. Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.