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Longtime Republican leader dies

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, July 14, 2018
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SERVING PARTY – Former Wise County Republican Chairman D.A. Sharpe (far right) frequently met with local representatives, including County Judge J.D. Clark and U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry. Sharpe died Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Former Wise County Republican chairman D.A. Sharpe died Thursday after heart surgery at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Sharpe, 79, of Aurora, served as the party chairman from 2000 to 2008 and remained active in the party until his death, helping his successors.

“D.A. was a wonderful man and Christian. He was a mentor to all of us in the party,” said Allen Williamson, who followed Sharpe as party chair and served in the position for 10 years. “He recruited me in 2008, and I was honored he asked me to do it. He mentored me always.

“He was quick to comment and tell you when you did something good, or when he didn’t agree. But he was always kind.”

Along with serving as county chair, Sharpe also was a national and state delegate.

Current Republican Party chair Eric Marney of Boyd praised Sharpe’s mentorship.

“I met D.A. Sharpe in 1999 when he became Republican County Chair for Wise County and soon we started attending the same church where we became fast friends,” Marney said. “It was in 2005 he took on a larger role in my life as a mentor in politics and several other areas. D.A. always encouraged everyone he met, but he really took the time to invest in my life, urging me to step out and take on a larger role in every area of my life.

“He was a brilliant man who loved investing in people. He used to tell me, ‘people are not unlike investments, if you put something valuable into them and then let it grow, you will see a great return on that investment.’ He took that belief to heart investing in everyone he ever had the chance to spend time with, even a just little bit of time.”

In 2004, Texas Gov. Rick Perry commissioned Sharpe as admiral in the Texas Navy, the historical educational organization promoting knowledge about the Texas Navy of the Republic of Texas from 1836-45.

A memorial service will be held in August at the Sharpe family home in Aurora.

Sharpe and his wife Suzanne moved to Aurora in 1999 from Dallas.

Sharpe worked in technology and later in administrative management for non-profit Christian entities. He retired as the executive administrator for the Senior Pastor at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in 2004.

Sharpe studied genealogy extensively, tracing back his ancestry more than 1,300 years. He traced genealogical relationships to 20 of the 45 U.S. Presidents.

Sharpe frequently wrote letters to the Messenger and submitted pictures and articles, including one on Williamson’s retirement in May.

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