Leslie "Les or Chuck" Marvin Deavers
Les Deavers was born on July 11, 1936 in Smithville, TX to George Luther (1889–1964) and Suzie Melisa Cox (1893–1966) Deavers. George worked for the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad, known as “the Katy of Texas” for 41 years. The Katy had a rail roundhouse and maintenance shop in Smithville. Les' siblings were brothers Luther Ray Deavers (1908–1965), Jewell Guy Danny" Deavers, (1912–1964), J. W. Deavers, George Luther Deavers Jr. (1925–1995), and Floyd Leroy R. Deavers (1930–1972 ) and sisters, Willie Ruth Deavers (1910–1997) (husband Cecil Clyde Chapman), Della Faye Deavers (1916–2007) (husband Nolan L. Howard) and Zula Maye Deavers (Bush) (1922–1995).
Following graduation from high school, Les immediately went to work for “the Katy” as a welder. The work required him to travel to various shops in the South Texas district. Les next moved to Houston to work for Stewart and Stevenson, a Diesel engines and oil field equipment distributor. He trained as an apprentice in their machine shop.
Les married Vivian Sophia Walla of Smithville on September 14, 1957, in Houston, Texas. They had attended the same school. Their son Randall was born in 1958 and they decided to leave Houston. Les found a position in the machine shop at the Austin City Power Seaholm Plant on First Street and they moved to Austin in 1960. At the power plant, Les met Bill Wollett, who had worked for Jim Thompson in the physics department. Wollet heard that Professor Darrell Hughes was looking for a machinist to work with his high pressure equipment, which required high precision machining. He recommended Les and Hughes hired him in May of 1962. Les and Vivian are shown below, right.
Not long after coming to work for Hughes, there was a call to the lab, which in Hughes’ absence, Les took. The voice on the other end asked for Hughes. When told he was unavailable, the woman abruptly said, “Who are you?” Les told her, she then asked, “Do you have a car?” , “Yes,” Les replied. “ Then pick me up at the El Toro restaurant on Guadalupe Street and take me home.” Which he did. This was Les’ introduction to Leah Belle Hughes. Les enjoyed his work with Hughes and his graduate students.
In 1969, Mrs. Hughes died on a vacation trip abroad. Funeral arrangements were very difficult. Dr. Hughes took her death very hard. He lost all interest in his research and thus Les had little to do. Feeling the need to contribute, he would go down the hall and help in the student shop. He was invited by Guenther Wittig, then supervisor of the student shop, to join him. Soon thereafter Wittig was put in charge of the main shop, replacing George Olewin, and he asked Les to come with him. They worked well together, Les doing the scheduling and Wittig doing purchasing. Les was appointed Supervisor in 1975. Wittig retired in 1977 with Les assuming his responsibilities.
The faculty, staff and students had great respect for Les, his knowledge, his cooperativeness and his high standards. Les remained as supervisor until his retirement in 1998 after 37 years at UT. In 1988, he and his wife moved to Georgetown where he and his son have a small pasture on which they run some cows and horses. Les delighted in his grandchildren.
Chuck and Vivian joined First Baptist Church in Georgetown in 1989 where he served as a greeter for 30 years. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 50 years and became an ordained Deacon in 1974.
Les died October 30, 2019, in Georgetown. Survivors include his wife, Vivian Deavers; son, Randall Deavers (Wren); grandchildren, Landon and Alyssa Deavers.
Les Deavers Photo Album