David Leyendecker, city engineer for Katy, Fulshear and Waller as well as engineer for several area municipal utility districts passed Dec. 30 according to a statement from the city of Katy. …
David Leyendecker, city engineer for Katy, Fulshear and Waller as well as engineer for several area municipal utility districts passed Dec. 30 according to a statement from the city of Katy. Leyendecker, 66, of Columbus, was a common sight at council meetings and served Katy and Fulshear for decades.
“The City of Katy is deeply saddened by the passing of long-time City Engineer and good friend, David Leyendecker. David was not just our co-worker, he was family. Our sympathy and prayers are with his loved ones, friends and the Katy community during this time of great loss,” a statement sent on behalf of Katy city staff said.
Leyendecker served in a variety of engineering capacities for the municipalities he served and was observed in many city council meetings providing clarifications to council members on everything from drainage and drinking water to roadway and sidewalk development.
“David served the City for over 45 years and will be greatly missed,” said Katy City Council Member Janet Corte in a Dec. 30 Facebook post. “His passing is a terrible and unexpected loss not only for the city of Katy but also his friends and family.”
In his obituary, Leyendecker is described as having had a “servant’s heart” and said that mindset included participating in the community as a Rotarian, including a stint as president of the local chapter.
On a more personal level, Leyendecker’s daughter, Kimberly Johnson, said her father regularly said that he loved Katy and his work and had refused to retire because he said he would miss the people he worked with.
“It wasn’t work for him,” Johnson said. “He truly loved what he did, and it was the relationships with the people he worked with and the community that gave him purpose and it was a huge part of what kept him going while fighting Lymphoma.”
According to his obituary, Leyendecker is survived by his wife of 45 years, Connie Leyendecker, his mother, Doris Leyendecker, two daughters – Johnson and Kristen Carden – and three grandchildren. He also leaves behind a sister, Bonnie Roesler, several nieces and nephews and a large collection of in-laws.
Johnson added that the family has been overwhelmed with the amount of people – including those they do not know – that have shared stories with them about her father, especially those where he’d go out of his way to make their days brighter.
“He enjoyed making people laugh and didn’t take himself seriously,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she is making a book of stories to share with Leyendecker’s grandchildren that will include stories Leyendecker’s friends have shared with the family. Those wishing to contribute a story can send those to her at email@example.com.
During his time as a public engineer, Leyendecker designed or oversaw many projects which helped the municipalities he served manage their growth and develop necessary infrastructure to address the needs of residents to improve the cities he served, area officials said.
“David Leyendecker served the city of Fulshear well,” said Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff. “He was an excellent engineer and even better person. David was patient, kind and always willing to help anyone in need.”
Groff’s sentiment was echoed by Katy Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris, who applauded Leyendecker for his commitment to the city of Katy and its residents over his more than four decades of service to Katy.
“David was always available to speak with citizens or answer questions from staff members at any time. Serving four decades as city engineer, he literally built Katy.”
A celebration of life is being planned for Leyendecker, but the obituary indicates that the family is asking that he be honored through random acts of kindness or generosity done in his memory.
“David Leyendecker, the city engineer and my friend passed away yesterday,” Katy Mayor Bill Hastings said in a Dec. 31 Facebook post. “He served our city for 45 years. To say he will be missed is an understatement … Our prayers are with his family. I will miss him.”
Leyendecker’s name is not necessarily plastered on the water towers, streets, drainage infrastructure and buildings he oversaw the construction of, but traveling through Katy and the surrounding area, it is difficult to see a public facility or asset that he did not have a part in. His legacy comes not in a grand statue, but many projects which have provided clean water, mitigated flood risks, improved mobility and generally helped improve the quality of life for those living in or even passing through the region. A perusal through city documents in Katy and Fulshear will find his name and signature scattered throughout decades of work and uncountable projects.
“His legacy will certainly live on and he will be missed greatly by all who knew him,” Groff said.