Beloved former LeTourneau professor dies - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Beloved former LeTourneau professor dies


The man who inspired countless engineering students over a 45 year career as a professor, and inspired east Texans when he continued to teach classes from his hospital bed, has lost his battle with cancer. It was a solemn mood at the LeTourneau university campus at the news that former professor Bill Kielhorn had died this morning.

"Another one of the giants is gone, and that's what bill was , bill was a giant at LeTourneau university, you could see the joy in his face , you could go into a class with him you could hear him talking with students and you knew the joy that he was sharing," says longtime co-worker Gerrie Forbis.

It was April 2011 that professor Bill Kielhorn, who had never missed a day teaching at LeTourneau university in 45 years, taught his last class from a hospital bed. He began every engineering class with a prayer.

"All the students really liked him, he cared about they're education and stuff but he cared probably more about them as a person, he probably rubbed off on a lot of us and I think that's a good thing," says former Kielhorn student Ben Lacy.

He taught more than just engineering, but life lesson and perseverance.

"Bill and I came to LeTourneau college in the same year 1966, the thing I think most about bill was that he was more than a teacher he was a builder, a builder of men," Forbis says.

He was honored may 5th 2012, by having the LeTourneau materials joining engineering building named for him.

"Bill was just a friend, he was a dear friend, he one of the people that will be remembered as having a legacy, he loved his students so much," Forbis says.

He was visited just yesterday by Louie Gohmert , who honored him for his 45 years in education.

"In his 45 years at LeTourneau he taught thousands of students. He spent tens of thousands of hours working with students mentoring them," says Dr. Ron Delap , LeTourneau dean of engineering students.

Bill Kielhorn was 80 years old. A memorial service for professor Kielhorn will be held on the LeTourneau university campus on Wednesday night at 7-pm.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly