Billy McElhaney | 1946-2013

Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Bill McElhaney

Service for Wise County Judge Bill McElhaney, 67, of Bridgeport will be 10:30 am Thursday at the Decatur Civic Center.

Burial will be private. Pallbearers will be Wise County Sheriff’s Honor Guard.

McElhaney died Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 after collapsing during a commissioners court meeting in Decatur. A lifelong resident of Bridgeport, Bill was serving his second term as county judge, and was active in several regional boards and associations.

Billy McElhaney was born in Decatur June 17, 1946, to Joseph and Atrel (Hunn) McElhaney. He was a 1964 graduate of Bridgeport High School and served in the U.S. Army from 1965-1967. He was a 1977 graduate of the University of North Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance, with a minor in real estate, and additional postgraduate courses.

Between 1985 and 2006 he had more than 200 accredited classroom hours from the Texas Education Agency and Texas Association of School Boards. Beginning in 1970, he had also taken numerous management and safety courses with industry, community and government themes at the local, state and federal levels.

In the past six years, Judge McElhaney took more than 100 hours of judicial educational courses for county judges from the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), more than 50 hours of advanced continuing education from the V.G. Young Institute of County Government (affiliate of Texas A&M), various National Incident Management System (NIMS) emergency management training classes, and other county government training courses from TAC.

Bill began work at TXI Operations, LP in Chico in 1968 and worked for the company for 39 years. From 1969 to 1977 he was in various supervisory and management positions at two of their stone plants. In 1978 he became manager of the Bridgeport stone facility and in 1982 he also took on the role of area stone manager for the Wise and Jack County production operations, holding both positions through 1996.

In 1997 he moved into Corporate reserves and aggregate business development for Texas and Oklahoma, and 2001 he went into the company’s real estate division when he was named corporate mineral land manager for Texas and Oklahoma – a position he held until he was elected county judge in 2006.

Bill served on the Bridgeport City Council from 1978 to 1980, and he served a total of 21 years at various times on the Bridgeport ISD board of trustees. He also served on the Wise County School District Board, and in 1994 was Tax Board President.

He was chairman of the Bridgeport Economic Development Board in 1988-1989, and was currently vice president of the executive board of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. He gave over 26 years of his life to government and public service.

He was a member in the Fellows of the Texas County Judges Judicial Academy. He was also a member of the V.G. Young Commissioners Court Academy, as well as an active member of Nor-Tex County Judges Association.

Billy leaves behind his wife Kim (Smith) McElhaney; children Billy Jr., Blaine and wife Melissa, Stacie Anderson and husband Kyle, Katie Smith and husband Josh; sisters Nadine Green and husband Billy Carroll, and Rita Boles; and 10 grandchildren: Billy Jr.’s sons Christian and Nicolas McElhaney; Blaine and Melissa’s children Beau, Brody, Trinity and Colton Teter; Stacie and Kyle’s son Lane Anderson; and Katie and Josh’s children Hendrix, Harper and Haddie Smith.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to any Wise County charity of choice.

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