Fort Worth Retired Police Officer Was Being Treated for COVID-19
UPDATED 01/13/2021 at 11:11 a.m. CST - TEXPERS board member Billy Samuel died on Jan. 11 due to complications with COVID-19.
He received treatment in a Fort Worth area hospital for about a week when he passed away.
"Billy was always quick to crack a smile and brighten up your day with his optimism," says Art Alfaro, TEXPERS' executive director. "He was passionate about the soundness of the Fort Worth pension system and worked tirelessly to ensure all retirees and beneficiaries had a secure retirement and brought that dedication over as a TEXPERS Board member. I will miss my dear friend."
Samuel served as a member of TEXPERS' board of directors. He first filled a vacancy on the board in 2005 then filled another vacancy in 2016 before being elected to fill the police position for a full four-year term (2016-2020). His was to expire last year; however, the board extended terms into 2021 due to the pandemic's impact on the association's ability to host its annual conference to elect board members. Even when not serving on the association's board of directors, Samuel was active and involved.
Samuel was retired from the Fort Worth Police Department. During his 34 years with the department, he worked in patrol, vice, narcotics, crime scene/homicide, traffic and mounted patrol divisions.
The department posted the following statement to its Facebook page: "Billy Samuel, FWPD Sergeant (Ret.) succumbed to a hard-fought battle with COVID-19. Billy was a longtime vice president of the Fort Worth Police Officers' Association and dedicated his life to serving his city and fellow officers. Billy's legacy is cemented in the history of our department, and he will be missed by all who knew and loved him."
Samuel served on the Fort Worth Police Officers Association for 27 years, serving as the organization's vice president for most of that time. He also was elected to and served on the Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund for 17 years, serving as the board's chairman for much of that time.
A memorial service is to be held at 3 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the Will Rogers Auditorium, 3401 West Lancaster St. in Fort Worth. The service will be live streamed and a link will be provided that Saturday morning. We will post the link as soon as it becomes available. Those attending in person are reminded that social distancing measure will limit seating and masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, Samuel's family requests donations be made to A Wish with Wings, a social service organization that grants wishes for Texas children who have life-threatening medical conditions. To donate, visit www.awww.org. Or, donations can be made in Samuel's honor to the Fort Worth Stock Show Calf Scramble, which introduces youth to the livestock and food industry. To learn more, visit www.fwssr.com.