Walter LeFevre

  • Died: November 23, 2009
  • Location: Springdale, Arkansas

Sisco Funeral Chapel Inc

705 W Meadow Ave
Springdale, AR 72764

Tel. (479) 751-4577

Tribute & Message From The Family

Dr. E. Walter LeFevre, 77, of Springdale, died Monday, November 23, 2009 at Northwest Arkansas Medical Center. He was born July 29, 1932, in Eden, Texas to E.W.Sr. and Hazie D. LeFevre. Dr. LeFevre graduated from Eden High School in Eden, Texas. He earned a Bachelors and Masters of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University. He served in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant in Field Artillery during the Korean Conflict.

Walt LeFevre set the standard for all engineers to emulate in his lifelong service to the engineering profession. He was the Past National President of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Past National Vice President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), former Dean and Civil Engineering Department Head as well as a faculty member for more than forty years at the University of Arkansas, member of the National Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a delegate to the World Federation of Engineering Organizations and U.S. member of many other delegations to various foreign countries. Additionally he is a member of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and is a Past President of the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. He has presented engineering papers worldwide and been a consultant to a number of countries. He also found time to serve his community as a Past President of Rotary, Past District Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America and many other organizations. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Member, their most prestigious award, of ASCE for his lifetime of hard work for the engineering profession. Walt also served for more than 35 years as Senior Vice President of ESI, an engineering firm, in

In 1981, Walt founded the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering (AACE) which has provided hundreds of scholarships for Civil Engineering students and support to the department. Through this example, other engineering departments within the College of Engineering have followed the formation of engineering academies.
In 1992, Walt, with the assistance of Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, established the Mack Blackwell National Rural Transportation Study Center (MBTC) and served as its Director for several years. MBTC, which is still going strong, has completed over 150 studies on transportation issues benefitting rural America.
As a professor for over forty-five years, he molded the lives of thousands of superb practicing engineers. He is held in the highest esteem by all who have benefited from his professorship. Walt LeFevre is regarded by the national engineering community as the backbone of engineering ethics. He helped produce two films and ethics courses which are used nationally by businesses as well as universities. Additionally he wrote over 200 refereed publications for the engineering industry. His national awards are too numerous to mention, but include Distinguished Service Awards from the American Society of Engineering Education, ASCE, NSPE, NCEES, AAES, Boy Scouts of America and a number of other engineering societies. He was recognized for his service at the University of Arkansas in 1971 by its highest distinction, "University Professor".

Among all of his accomplishments he was also a kind, gentle-hearted, compassionate gentleman, a very dear friend and will be missed very much by his colleagues and friends. The engineering profession has lost a great leader who has given his entire life to the advancement of the profession.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Joyce LeFevre; 2 daughters, Terry Watson and her husband, Tom, of Denver, Colorado, Charmaine Stuteville and her husband, Eric of Durant, Oklahoma, 2 sons, George LeFevre and his wife Young Soon of Clarksville, Tennessee and John LeFevre and his wife, Angie, of Houston, Texas; nine grandchildren and spouses: Sarah and Mike Hayward, John and Kara Watson, Michelle Pierce, Robert and Tiffany Pierce, Jackson Stuteville, Amanda LeFevre, Chris LeFevre, Austin LeFevre and Zach LeFevre; and one great-grandson, Will Hayward.

The Memorial Service will be Friday, November 27, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Springdale with the Rev. Judy VanHoose officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 25, 2009 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Sisco Funeral Chapel in Springdale.

Honorary pallbearers will be the University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Department, the Rotary Club of Springdale and the Springdale Planning Commission.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund, American Diabetes Association, First United Methodist Church of Springdale, 206 W. Johnson Ave., Springdale, Arkansas72764 or any library.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Walt must have made many friends. I consider our work together as a highlight of my career, and it was brief. We took an exam pre-testing the early discipline specific engineering fundamentals exams at NCEES in summer 1996. Walt and I got the same score (a very high score), and it far surpassed any of the 800 students who later took that same exam.

Walt was fun to work with, and I miss him too. I hadn't realized that we shared our United Methodism as well as our engineering interests.

Jon M. Rueck, P.E., BCEE
Silver Lake, KS 66539

Posted by Jon Rueck    July 21, 2010

My mom and I send our deepest sympathy to Walt's family. We remember him fondly and will truly miss him at future ASCE events. He was a delight to be around. May God bless and strengthen you during this sad time.

Posted by Anni Autio, PE, BCEE    December 10, 2009

Walt's death is a major loss to me. We were friends and we worked together on many professional projects. For two years you and Walt and Jan and I traveled and worked together as President Elect and President of NSPE. Walts ethical approach to every aspect of our projects and personal work together was the epitomy of what I hope I can emulate. I thank him for his guidance and mentoring during this time.

You and Walt will always remain in my heart. I hope your pain in his loss can be softened by knowing how much Walt contributed to his profession, and how those of us who were privileged to work with him gained from his example.

Posted by Neil A. Norman, PE    December 07, 2009

My deepest sympathy to your family. Dr. LeFevre was one of the great professors at the U of A. He was an inspiration during my years in engineering school.

Posted by George Bollier    December 05, 2009

I was very sad to hear of Walt's passing. He will be missed!

Posted by Patty Kennedy, P.E.    December 03, 2009

I work with George at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and it was a joy for me as he spoke so lovingly of his family. Im sorry to hear of your loss and want you to know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Ginny Newman    December 02, 2009

As a very young, inexperienced executive director of the Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Surveyors, I admit to being quite intimidated by Dr. LeFevre at my first few NCEES meetings. Yet he was so friendly and patient with me. His sense of humor was especially appreciated during NCEES meetings. Please accept my condolences.

Posted by Rosemary Brister    November 30, 2009

I extend sincere thoughts and prayers to your family. I knew Walt for more than 35 years. He was Dean when I recruited engineering graduates for Black & Veatch. We also worked together in ASEE & NSPE and shared stories about Scouting. In all ways, Walt was a dedicated professional. He was always helpful and worked hard to improve the lives of others. The world is a better place because of Walt's life!

Posted by Tom Roberts, P.E.    November 29, 2009

Joyce, Terry, Charmaine, George, & John - it has been a long time since Ross Street & Elmdale Elem School. I was very sorry to read about Walt's death.
We have been down your path... and I am passing on my condolences and those of the kids, Shawn, Craig, Robin & Kelly. May God continue His guiding hand upon you all in all your endeavors - remembering His Word - "In everything give thanks..."

Posted by Pat Owens    November 28, 2009

Walt was my classmate at TAMU. Over the past 55 years, I saw Walt only every 5 or 6 years. I have kept up with his professional life and accomplishments. I last saw Walt about 3 or 4 years agon when he was named a distingushed graduate of the Cilvil Engineering Department at A&M. He was a great member of the Class of 53 and we are saddeded to learn of his death. My reguards to his family. Dick Birdwell, College Station, Texas.

Posted by Dick Birdwell    November 27, 2009

Dear LeFevre Family--Passage of a loved one from this to another world is never easy but Walt leaves a legacy of honor and many who benefitted from his labors. May God ease your pain of loss in these coming days as Rosalie and I remember you in our hearts and prayers.

Posted by Paul N. Revis, P.E.    November 27, 2009

My thoughts and prayers are with all of Dr. Lefevre's family. I had the honor to be a student of his at the University of Arkansas. He was a professor who brought so much knowledge and ethics to the profession. We were very fortunate to have been able to study and learn from him. I respected him not only in his professional accomplishments but in his personal conduct as well. His contributions were huge and he will be missed.

Posted by Holly Bautts Kidd, P.E.    November 27, 2009

For some 35 years Walt has been a very good friend and mentor. He has provided advice and guidance during my tenure on our licensing board and while working on NCEES exams. No one has done more to promote licensure and use of the Fundamentals of Engineering exams. We are all indebted to him for his accomplishments and for his untiring contributions to the engineering profession. We are also indebted to his family for the sacrifices they must have made in supporting him in his endeavors. We will miss him.

Posted by David Knwles, L.S.,P.E.    November 27, 2009

Dear Mrs. LeFevre and Family,

Walter & I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept our condolences. It was a pleasure to have known him.

Posted by Walter & Elizabeth Binz    November 26, 2009

I have know Walter for several years and was in
Rotary and visited with him many times. He was
a very good man and has served our city for several years. Our prayers are with the family.
He will be missed.

Larry Clinkscales

Posted by Larry Clinkscales    November 26, 2009

Dear Mrs. LeFevre and family. Instructor, advisor, mentor, and friend are just some of the ways I could describe E. Walt and what he has meant to me over the 43 years I've known him. I was one of those "wide-eyed" wanna-be engineers in his "Soils" class the first semester he taught at the University of Arkansas. That was then followed by a couple of other opportunities he had to try to impart a little wisdom my way before I finished my time at UA. As my Highway Department path brought me back to the western/northwestern Arkansas area in 1990 I had more opportunities for our professional and personal relationships to grow. I don't recall ever meeting a more "class" gentleman as he worked so diligently to instill a sense of ethical behavior into every engineer he interacted with and have appreciated his always wise counsel during the later years of my Highway Department career. He will always be the source of fond memories for me and I know that his positive impact on the engineering profession will endure. Our prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss, but I'm sure I will hear that booming laugh of Walt's (in my mind) as I did during the times I would pick him up at the University and we'd tour the Hwy. 71 reconstruction project as it came together between Alma and Fayetteville. He was so pleased to see the efforts of so many of his "young whippersnappers" as they made their marks as engineers. He was so pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the dedication of that project on January 9, 1999. Thanks Walt for all you've done for us. Harold Beaver, AHTD Engineer, Retired.

Posted by Harold Beaver, P.E.    November 26, 2009

Joyce, it seems ironic, but earlier this morning I was reading the ASCE "Newsletter" and noted that two awards, named for Walt, had been presented to the Civil Engineering Programs at the U. S. Military Academy and the University of Evansville. Joanne and I stopped for a few moments to remember the two of you---Joanne as a Past-President of the NSPE Audiliary and myself, as a Past Regional Vice-President of NSPE as well as a former President of the NSPE Foundation. We enjoyed serving with Walt and will miss him very much. Good luck and God Bless you and your family.

John & Joanne Prien

Posted by John & Joanne Prien---Gainesville, Georgia    November 25, 2009

Dr. LeFevre was a real hero in the engineering profession. His constant and relentless service to the profession and others serves as a model for all of us. He will be missed greatly and we should all be grateful for our time with him and honor him by advancing his legacy of professional service.

Posted by Jeffrey S. Russell, P.E.    November 25, 2009

Mrs. LeFevre and family, I was sorry to hear that Dr. LeFevre had passed away. I worked in Electrical Engineering and thought he was a great guy, he always had time for everyone. He will be missed by many.

Posted by Mary Gail Reed    November 25, 2009

Joyce and Family.

I am truly sorry that I am unable to travel to be with you and friends.Thanksgiving is a dfficult time for me with 3 brothers/sisters and 4 children spread over 4 states, and none are in ARK.

I am saddened by Walt's passing but know he is in a better place.

A finer friend I never had.

God bless,

Bob Gibson

Posted by Bob Gibson    November 25, 2009

Mrs. Lefevre and the extended family,

I have very fond memories of Dr. Lefevre. I was his student in his Engineering Economic Analysis. He not only taught me, but he taught my father, Reggie Corbitt, back in the early seventies. I still use the concepts he taught me on a weekly basis. I am looking at the book on my shelf as I write this letter. Dr. Lefevre was always pleasant to be around and always had some unique wisdom that he would freely share with me. He will be missed. Please take comfort in knowing that he positively influenced me as well as many of my colleagues in the engineering profession. My prayers are with your family during this time.

Posted by Chris P Corbitt, P.E.    November 25, 2009

I was so sorry to hear about Dr. LeFevre's passing. He was my professor 8 years ago. His patience and kindness with me as I learned his course material made him my confidant throughout the rest of my education at U of A. His presense is already missed.

Rachel Remley Taylor, P.E.
University of Arkansas
BSCE: Class of 2003

Posted by Rachel Taylor    November 25, 2009

Dear Mrs. Lefevre,

Billye and I are heart broken to hear of Dr. LeFevre's passing. I shared lunch and spoke with him at a MBTC seminar in April 2001. Walt wanted to know how my mother, Lowita and sister, Ann were doing and he in turn updated me on you and the entire family. He was so proud of his children and thankful for their health and successes.

We spoke of the old days, and he reflected on all of us kids growing up in the 60's and 70's on Ross Avenue in Springdale, AR. Walt's sharp mind and dry wit was in rare form that day and I so enjoyed our visit.

Dr. LeFevre was respected so highly in the civil engineering world. His career is so well and truthfully stated in his obituary. We can only thank him for all of his efforts and teachings while he was with us, and continue to practice and honor him through our life's work left to us here on earth.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you, and to Terry, Charmaine, George and John. We wanted you to know that we share your sadness and wish you comfort and peace in the days to come.

Gregory L. Bone, P.E.
Billye J. Bone

Posted by Gregory L. Bone, P.E.    November 25, 2009

Please accept our prayers and deepest sympathy for you and your family. I knew Walt through Springdale Rotary. He was always a friendly person that was sincerely interested in other people. His smile, charm and good spirit will be missed by all.

Posted by Rolf and Ceri Wilkin    November 25, 2009


Posted by DENNIS HILL, BSCE'73.    November 25, 2009

Joyce & Family - We are so sorry to hear about Walt's death. You both have meant so much to us over the years. We remember so many experiences that we shared. God bless you during this time. Pat & Jean

Posted by Pat & Jean Armour    November 25, 2009

Mom and I extend our deepest sympathy to your entire family. It is so difficult to lose a father/husband, but please remember to thank God for the 50+ years that we were able to share Walt's life! Wow...he did so MANY good things! The world is a better place because of him! Bless you all!

Posted by Danna & Helen Fisher    November 24, 2009

Joyce & Family-Dianne and I are so sorry to hear of Walt's passing. You will all be in our prayers. We have such fond memories of the times we spent together on Arkansas Registration Board meeting trips. Walt has always been one of my heros as a shining example of "how to be an Engineer". Walt was one of the most brilliant and forward thinking people I have ever known. May God bless and comfort you during this time. Sam & Dianne

Posted by Sam Cummings    November 24, 2009

Dear LeFevre family,

Candace and I are deeply sorry to learn of Walt's passing. He was a wonderful man in such a myriad of ways. I suppose that most will remember him in his role as educator, but I especially remember him and all his family for their involvement in the early days of the Arts Center of the Ozarks, then known as the Springdale Arts Center.

I was still at the University of Arkansas as a student when Duane Cline and I worked together at the Arts Center during those difficult beginnings. What a wonderful inspiration and help Walt and his family were to our fledgling efforts. I will never forget it.

I also often tell people about a Saturday when Walt, his wife, and some of the children came into the old Harps grocery store where I was working as a checker. We had already gotten to know each other at the Arts Center, so we were able to carry on friendly conversations during the process. Walt presented a large basket full of groceries. Then he and I joked about losing weight, an activity he and I both probably SHOULD have done, but had little interest in doing! I'll never forget Walt's "advice" about the PERFECT DIET: he opined, "if it tastes good, spit it out!"

That was typical of his wonderful sense of humor, and his on-going charm at being able to be self-deprecating. What a joy!

Later, when my our son, Richard, was an engineering student at the University of Arkansas, he had the geat opportunity to work with Walter. In this way, we came to know him in a completely new way. It was no surprise to learn that he was just as great in this facet of his life as in all others. He took a special liking to Richard, and gave him the benefit of his life's experiences. Richard and we, his parents, are eternally grateful.

Richard has become a successful engineer in his own right, at this point, and never fails to give his mentor and friend the respect and gratitude he so richly deserves.

We give thanks, especially at this Thanksgiving Season, for Walter and his wonderful life. He has shown us the way, and we would be wise to follow. May God recognize him as one of His own, gathering Walter into His arms of Love. And may Our Lord richly bless, protect, and console the entirety of the family. Thank you for sharing him with so many of us over the years.

In His Service,
Prof. and Mrs. Louis Welcher
Russellville, Arkansas

Posted by Louis Welcher    November 24, 2009

So sorry to hear of Walt's passing. Our condolences to you and your family. Walt was a bright light to all who knew him and will be missed.

Posted by Roger & Mary Haney    November 24, 2009

May you know the peace that passes all understanding in this time of sorrow. I join with others in gratitude for Walt's influence in our family's life, especially that Walt recruited Wayne to study at the UofA where we met! The whole LeFevre family was special to Wayne. Also,
I am very appreciative that Walt spoke at Wayne's Memorial service in 2008 - it was so meaningful to our family.
Jo Heiliger
Stillwater, OK

Posted by Jo Heiliger    November 24, 2009

Walt will be missed every monday at our Rotary Meeting. He was a great Rotarian and always help support the many great efforts of our club..Dennis Moore

Posted by Dennis Moore    November 24, 2009

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. LeFevre. He was a professor of mine from 1969-1970. I will always remember him as the nicest man and friend to all of his students. He found a way to do an excellent job of teaching without making us afraid of our professor. He made soils engineering fun and introduced us personally to the authors of our texts, of which, some of them were his professors. He did so much for civil engineering in Arkansas, the nation and the world.
We will always remember him for what he did for us. May God comfort you in this time of sorrow.
John Bufford, PE, LEED AP, BSCE '71, MSE '80
Acme Brick Company
Little Rock, AR

Posted by John Bufford, P.E.    November 24, 2009

I just wanted to express my sympathy to you during this time of sadness. Walt was a strong and caring man. He was a wonderful provider to you and your family and set a great example for everyone that knew him. May God bless you. Shirley Scott Maumelle, AR

Posted by Shirley Scott    November 24, 2009

My deepest sympathies to Walt's family and friends. Thank you all for supporting Walt's efforts through the years. I aspire to be as generous, kind, knowledgeable, and principled as Walt. I am very, very lucky to have had the privilege to work with Walt through NCEES. He has made a great impact on my life, as I am sure he has for others. The civil engineering community will definitely feel the loss of Walt's great leadership. Sincerely, Susan Habina from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Posted by Susan Habina    November 24, 2009

We are very sorry for your loss. We pray that God will comfort you and surround you with His peace.

In Christ,
Susan and Jim Hodson
Durant, Oklahoma

Posted by Jim and Susan Hodson    November 24, 2009

I send my deepest sympathy to your family. I enjoyed tremendously the opportunity to serve with Walt on the planning commission. His wisdom was a great help in alot of my decisions. I am unfortunately not able to attend services due to being out of town for the hoildays,but know that my thoughts and prayers are with your family during this time. May god bless.

Posted by Joel Kelsey    November 24, 2009