Commissioner Lon Gillespie has passed on to the other side of eternity. I have known Lon for 30 years as a customer and then as a County Commissioner. As a customer and friendly acquaintance I always found him easy to talk to. He always had a joke or a comment. I never found him to be a person that talked bad about other people. I supported him with some monetary donations when he ran for office and wished him well in the prospect. I could not vote for him but always found a friendly ear to listen after he became a Commissioner.
When I became County Judge however, our relationship really changed. I found in him a sounding board and a trusted co – worker. He trusted me also. I know because he told me often how much he liked working with me. He had great common sense, a powerful sense of integrity and a strong desire to do good things for the County and its’ citizens. We certainly had that in common. His honesty in handling county money was impeccable. Lon always went above and beyond any job description of County Commissioner. He called himself the “go to” commissioner and he lived up to that description. If there was a construction project of ANY kind, he wanted to help. I like construction also so we really became a partnership on all projects. His common sense and practical approach went so well with mine. I don’t think we ever disagreed on much of anything. As County Judge I would tell him, “Commissioner I don’t think we have the money for that.” And by golly, he would figure out a way. Sometimes we differed on method, but always, always came into agreement. If I needed help, all I had to do was say something like, “gosh, I really don’t have time for ………… “And he would never fail to ask what he could do to help. Now, he (and I am smiling) didn’t want anything to do with projects that had to do with finances. He would never have turned down a need, but he always told me, “Judge, I like to run the construction and repair projects.” And he did! I feel as if I have lost one of my arms in doing this job. I will miss him coming into my office and throwing his hat on my desk and always messing my stuff up. I will miss his irreverent attitude and mischievous nature. I am a better person because of my chance to work so closely with him for the county. I will miss him every day. Every day. Every day.
Thanks for listening.
We want you to be proud of your County Government.
Bob Hurley is the Atascosa County Judge. You may E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.