LETA SHAFFER LAYMON passed away on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Leta was raised in Austin and attended the University of Texas. She entered the hotel industry and achieved recognition as the first female director of sales with the Hilton Corporation and in the state of Texas. She and her husband Jim resided in Houston, where they experienced a colorful career in their management roles at the Royal Coach Inn. Leta later owned a highly successful residential real estate firm in the Galleria area, and balanced her professional life with civic and charitable activities. She was active in organizations such as St. Anthony Center, March of Dimes, Prevention of Blindness, United Cerebral Palsy, Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, Citizens for Animal Protection and MusicFest. Leta served on the boards of A Tribute to Business Women and St. Anthony Center, and was appointed to the Texas Film Commission by Governor Bill Clements. With the opening of the Conrad Hilton Hotel School, Leta was invited to be a guest professor, lecturing in marketing. In 1983, she was recognized by the Houston Post as one of the 25 Most Outstanding Female Leaders in the city. After selling her real estate company, Leta embarked on a new career as a free-lance writer. She honed her creative writing skills at Rice University and the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference. Leta's work was featured in numerous publications including Houston Metropolitan Magazine, Ultra Magazine and Blackbook: A Social Registry. For over a decade, she wrote for John Daugherty Realtors and Sotheby International, and her poems were published in the American Poetry Anthology. After moving to Rockport in 1996, Leta was active in real estate, in an association with Luce Properties, and was a contributing writer and society editor for Gulfscapes Magazine. An energetic volunteer, she participated in numerous fund-raising events for the Texas Maritime Museum and the Humane Society of Aransas County. In 2003 she was elected to the Board of Trustees of
the Texas Maritime Museum and served as President in 2006. In 2014, Leta received the prestigious Realtor Emeritus Award, from the National Association of Realtors, for her leadership and service. In 2019. Leta was elected to the Board of Directors of the Humane Society & Adoption Center of Rockport-Fulton and served as Vice-President. Blessed with intellect and creativity, Leta was a consummate professional, a talented writer, a gifted musician and a leader with vision and imagination. She was preceded in death by her father, Jay Smith, her mother Olivia Smith, her husband, Jim, her beloved only child, Jon, and her precious pup "Strutter". Leta is survived by her sister Myra Berry (Ron) of Austin, Texas, brother Victor Smith (Ginger) of Georgetown, Texas, niece Julie Smith, great-nieces Bailey Smith and Anna Leigh Smith, nephews Brian Berry and Jason Smith (Erica). great-nephews Blake Smith (Taylor) and Keegan Smith, and an extended family of cherished friends who held a special place in her heart. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm, on Saturday March 11, 2023 in the chapel of Charlie Marshall Funeral Home in Rockport, Texas, and the venue for a reception will be announced at the completion of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be presented in Leta's name to the Humane Society & Adoption Center of Rockport-Fulton, P.O. Box 1502, Fulton, Texas, 78358.