Fitting tribute: Texas House honors Sharpe

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, February 23, 2019
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Paying Respects

PAYING RESPECTS – District 61 Rep. Phil King reads a House resolution in honor of Aurora’s D.A. Sharpe Tuesday. King presented the resolution after one declaring the day Wise County Day. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

After nearly an hour of different representatives stepping to the microphone to shout out proclamations over the constant chatter filling the House of Representatives’ chamber, a sudden hush settled in around noon Tuesday.

District 61 Rep. Phil King broke the silence, presenting House Resolution 319 for Aurora’s D.A. Sharpe.

D.A. Sharpe

“Every county has its special people,” King said. “D.A. was the Republican chair [in Wise County] for a number of years. He was just one of those guys that was magnanimous. It didn’t matter if you were Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. It made no difference. He was your friend. He was one of those leaders that brought everyone together.”

After delivering those words, King turned his attention to the gallery to speak directly to D.A.’s widow, Suzanne.

“We wanted to take a minute to say we love you, and we loved your husband,” King said. “He was a hero to Wise County and mentor to me. We wanted to thank you for allowing him to serve for so long and in so many ways.”

Sharpe died in July 2018 following heart surgery at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He was 79.

He served as the Republican party chairman from 2000 to 2008 and remained active in the party until his death, helping his successors. Sharpe also was a national and state delegate.

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.

Sharpe frequently wrote letters to the Messenger and submitted pictures and articles.

Suzanne, who was joined in the gallery by her daughter Tiffany Westmoreland, was touched by the gesture and words from King.

“We appreciated it,” she said. “[D.A.] would’ve had fun with it. He appreciated so much being a part of the political scene. He appreciated people that served. It’s not an easy thing to do, serving our country.

“No matter what side you’re on, he was going to listen to you. He preferred not to make enemies. He felt you could learn from people that are the opponent and maybe even change their mind.”

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