October 28, 1948 - August 28, 2015


William “Billy” Lee Newland, age 66, St. Cloud, MN died Friday, August 28, 2015 at his home.

An informal memorial service will be Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 11:30 AM at Munsinger Gardens in St. Cloud, MN. Billy Lee will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. Funeral arrangements were made by Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN.

Billy loved life and lived it to the fullest. Billy was a fierce friend and a gifted storyteller through his writing and photography. Billy distinguished himself in combat in Vietnam achieving the rank of sergeant in two years. He was extremely proud of his two bachelors and masters degrees earned at the University of South Florida that enabled him to teach and mentor others.

He influenced and loved many including his wife Leslie Valdes, his sister Kathy Beckmann, his stepmother Millie, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many treasured friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and James House, his first mentor and the best man he ever knew.

To honor Billy's life, the family requests that donations be made to the USF History Department in lieu of other memorials.