We celebrate the lives of Grapevine Rotary Club Rotarians who have had a tremendous impact on us and the community. Each one leaves a wonderful legacy.

Dr. Ken Diehm

Dr. Ken Diehm, 52, passed away on Saturday, February 19, 2011. Ken was born on March 1, 1958 to Floyd and Emily Diehm in Oklahoma City, OK. He was a loving and devoted husband of 30 years, father, grandfather, son, brother, pastor and friend.

Ken graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach, received his Master of Divinity at Brite Divinity School and his Doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He started his ministry as the Youth Director at First UMC in Bixby, OK. He then served as Youth Director and Associate Pastor at First UMC in Burleson. Ken became the Pastor at First UMC and Wesley United Methodist Church in Cisco. During his 15 years at St. Andrews UMC in Arlington the church grew from 100 to over 1,000 members. In 2005 Ken was called as Pastor to First UMC in Grapevine.

Through the years he was very involved in mission work serving Kenya, Costa Rica and Grapevine. Ken was a member of the Grapevine Rotary Club and was an active participant in Special Olympics, placing flags on Main Street on federal holidays and other service projects.. He enjoyed sports, biking and was an avid reader.


Robert Paul Fermier

Robert Paul Fermier, 68, passed away Friday, Oct. 8, 2010. Bob grew up in Houston, where he earned the honor of Eagle Scout. He graduated from the University of Texas and then spent 30 years with IBM. He spent the last six years sharing the wellness and improved quality of life that he had found through Mannatech Real Food Technology Solutions.

He was passionate about helping people through CTCYM mission trips, Boy Scout camping excursions, as chaplain of Boy Scout Troop 28, Kairos Prison Ministry, Walk to Emmaus and most recently with the Grapevine Rotary Club and the Methodist Children's Home in Waco. Bob was very proud of all of his children; Marci's command of the stage, Rob's computer wizardry, and Michael and Andrew following in his footsteps as Eagle Scouts. He had an avid love for music, choir, a good glass of wine, and most importantly enriching the lives of those around him. He has now joined the angels in the heavenly chorus.

He was passionate about helping people through CTCYM mission trips, Boy Scout camping excursions, as chaplain of Boy Scout Troop 28, Kairos Prison Ministry, Walk to Emmaus and most recently with the Grapevine Rotary Club and the Methodist Children's Home in Waco. Bob was very proud of all of his children; Marci's command of the stage, Rob's computer wizardry, and Michael and Andrew following in his footsteps as Eagle Scouts. He had an avid love for music, choir, a good glass of wine, and most importantly enriching the lives of those around him. He has now joined the angels in the heavenly chorus.


Adam Rual Hardison

Adam Rual Hardison, 48, of Grapevine, Texas died January 12, 2015. He was born in Muleshoe, Texas to David and Marilyn Miller Hardison.

Adam was educated in the Sharyland schools and went on to receive his bachelor’s and law degrees from Baylor University. In 2011 he was married to the former Lisbet MacMiller in Mission, Texas. Adam and Lisbet were friends since elementary school, and they had four children from prior marriages.

Adam was the founder and owner of Hardison Law Firm in Dallas, Texas, where he dedicated his professional life to helping those in need. He was an active member of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Adam was devoted to community service and was a Paul Harris Fellow.


Luther Lattimore "Lou" Hillman

Luther Lattimore “Lou” Hillman, 80, passed away on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Lou was born July 7, 1937 in Leakey, Texas to the late John R. and Erna Hillman. He was raised in Galveston and graduated from Ball High School in 1955 and Baylor University in 1959. After graduation, he served in the Texas Air National Guard from 1960-1961. His career began in 1961 in Houston with Dun and Bradstreet. In 1963, he was Chamber of Commerce General Manager for Trinity, Texas.

Lou was a member of the Employee Relocation Council (ERC) since 1977, a Charter Member of Grapevine Rotary Club, First paid staff member of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, serving as Manager from 1964-1967 and later as Chairman of the Board from 1977 to 1978. He was the First CEO of Northwest Dallas Chamber of Commerce, a President of Northeast Tarrant County Board of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors board of Directors, and the North Texas Real Estate Commission Board of Directors. He led cities of Addison, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and Coppell to become some of the most prosperous suburban cities in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Lou served Grapevine as one of the pioneer members of DFW International Airport development team, worked with Ernest Dean of Tippets-Abbet-McCarthy-Stratton as original designers of DFW International Airport project, was appointed by Young & Rubicam to direct marketing and advertising for Chrystler-Plymouth throughout the State of Texas, was present at the initial meeting with Robert Crandall and Tom Plaskett in the relocation of American Airlines headquarters from New York to Dallas-Fort Worth, was involved in the development of Heritage Business Park (the largest business park in Grapevine and Southlake), was one of the first business leaders working on the location of Gaylord Texas Resort & Convention Center in the City of Grapevine, and was actively involved with numerous international business development ventures.

In 1972, Lou embarked on a career in commercial and residential real estate, opening Lou Hillman Red Carpet Realtors in Grapevine. For over 45 years, he served as owner and general manager of the brokerage which in 2014 became Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Lou Hillman, realtors. 


Dr. Ed Lancaster

Dr. Ed Lancaster, who with his wife Minnie Lee helped found a hospital that eventually became Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine died February 28, 2010 at the age of 89.

The Lancasters were community fixtures in Grapevine after setting up the first family practice there in 1953 While serving in the Marines during World War II, Ed Lancaster transported wounded servicemen in the South Pacific, an experience that influenced his decision to study medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He met his future wife in an anatomy lab there.

In 1960, the Lancasters joined Carlton Pittard to establish the Ann B. Lancaster Foundation, named after Dr. Ed Lancaster's mother. The foundation built the 30,000-square-foot Grapevine Memorial Hospital and Clinic. With donations, the facility kept growing and eventually was taken over by the Baylor hospital system. He and his wife were known by many as simply Dr. Ed and Dr. Minnie Lee.


Roy Earl Lange

Roy Earl Lange passed away on October 6, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. He was 63 years of age. Roy was born on February 19, 1953 in Fort Worth, Texas. Roy owned and operated Your Construction Source and was a member of the Grapevine Rotary Club.


Thad McDonnell

Thad McDonnell, 84, a resident, banker and business owner in Levelland and Grapevine, Texas, died July 5th, 2011, in Dallas. Thad was born November 18, 1926 in Fort Worth. He spent his childhood on the north side of Fort Worth and in Abilene.

He left high school early to serve in World War II, enlisting at the age of 17 in the United States Army in April of 1944. He was deployed as a rifle sharpshooter to the Philippines where he fought in the campaign for the Southern Philippine Liberation. Thad received two Overseas Service Bars, a Philippine Independence Ribbon, a Victory Ribbon, a Liberation Ribbon and one Bronze Star.

He received an Honorable Discharge in November of 1946 from the US Army and returned to Abilene, Texas.Thad attended college after the war at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. During his time at Oklahoma, he played football for the National Champion Oklahoma Sooners under Bud Wilkinson. Thad later continued his education and earned a Master's Degree in Secondary School Administration from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Thad, a lifelong sports enthusiast, combined his love of sports with his desire to lead throughout his career in education. His first job in education was as a math and science teacher, as well as the head football coach for the Mart Panthers, and then he served as high school principal and head football coach at West, Texas. Thad then moved on to the head coach and superintendent position for the Cuero Gobblers, and lastly, he relocated to Levelland in 1961 to take the role of superintendent of schools.

In 1963, he left public education and began his second career as a banker when he purchased the Levelland State Bank with two partners. His first and only role at the Levelland State Bank was as President and Chairman of the bank which grew to be the largest financial institution based in Hockley County. Throughout his time at the Levelland State Bank, he was devoted to its success and that of Levelland and the county.

Thad began his third and final career in 1989, when he joined the First National Bank in Grapevine, Texas as President, where he advised the owner in the sale of the bank to what is now part of the Wells Fargo organization. During this time period, Thad began to divide his time between Levelland and Grapevine. He became an avid supporter of the Grapevine business community and was a member of the Grapevine Rotary Club, the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, and supported the town's civic and historical endeavors. In 1993, he formed 5M Management, a privately held investment advisory service and estate management firm. He continued his work as President and Chairman of 5M Management until the time of his passing.


Rodney Curtis Smith

Rodney Curtis Smith of Grapevine passed away Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at a Dallas hospital. Sadly for his family and friends, Rodney lost his battle after a long fight with melanoma. Rodney was born May 23, 1931 in Greenville, Texas and moved to Howe where he graduated from Howe High School. He attended Austin College in Sherman.

Rodney served in the Army during the Korean War. After the war he moved to Sherman and was employed by the Sherman Democrat Newspaper for many Years. It was there he met the love of his life, Peggy, and they were married for 52 years.

Rodney and Peggy lived in Grapevine where they owned a printing company. He was the past president of the Grapevine Rotary Club, member of the Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Randell Masonic Lodge, Dallas Scottish Rite, York Rite, Knights of Templar of Texas, Hella Shrine Temple, Royal Order of Scotland and Brotherhood member of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Grapevine.

Rodney volunteered for the Metro Port Meals on Wheels Golf Tournament, the American Cancer Society and Rocky Top Therapy Fundraisers. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, Rotarian and community member.


Laura Lynn Qualls

Laura Lynn Qualls, age 55, of Grapevine, TX. passed away on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in Texas. Laura was a strong-willed, determined, and fiercely independent redhead. Laura was in a wheelchair, but never let her disability stand in her way. She played violin, and wheelchair basketball. Laura retired from Gamestop in 2014 and went on to open her own business as a Travel Agent. She was an avid volunteer at the Dallas Zoo and helped to take care of the gorillas, and a member of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce and the Grapevine Rotary Club. She was kind-hearted and compassionate, inseparable from her mother and she loved flowers.


C. Shane Wilbanks

Grapevine Mayor Pro-Tem C. Shane Wilbanks, 73, of Grapevine passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at his home.

Born April 26, 1942, in Pampa to Carl Edd and Odessa Wilbanks, Shane graduated from Pampa High School, attended Texas Christian University and graduated from the University of North Texas. In 1964, he married Paula Snelling of Denton at the First Presbyterian Church in Denton.

For over 40 years, Shane had been very active in the Grapevine community, the place where Shane and Paula chose to call home and raise their family. Prior to being elected to the Grapevine City Council in 1985, Shane served as the first Convention and Visitors Bureau chairman for the city of Grapevine and also served as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Shane's enthusiasm and dedication to the Grapevine Parks and Recreation was unmatched. The Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park, our trails systems and city parks have all been touched by the vision and talents of Mayor Pro-Tem Wilbanks.

Surpassing his love for the city of Grapevine was the love and devotion for his wife and children. It is said that a father's lasting legacy is by how much he loved his family, his community, and the good times shared. Shane succeeded tremendously on all fronts.


Dr. Abbas T. Zadeh

Dr. Abbas T. Zadeh passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. He was 90 years of age. Dr. Zadeh was a nationally recognized surgeon who continued to practice medicine until a few months ago.

He came to the U.S. from Iran in 1953 at the age of 29 for his residency at John Hopkins. He did not know anyone; he did not speak English and his possessions were a plane ticket, two letters confirming his internship, $80 and one suitcase of clothes. He succeeded through hard work, grit and ambition. His passion for his craft was coupled with a kind, generous and positive personality. He laughed a lot, especially with family.

As the years passed, his home became "Ellis Island" for his eight brothers and sisters, their children and numerous other relatives. He was the patriarch of this extended family. He also steadfastly believed in getting the best possible education for his children regardless of cost or personal sacrifice.

His goal in life was simply to be the best doctor, father, husband, brother, uncle and friend he could be. He accomplished that and more. He was an active member of the Grapevine Rotary Club.