Lonnie Gillespie, 65, popular lifelong Atascosa County resident, died Wednesday, September 20. He was Atascosa County Commissioner, Precinct 1, having taken office in January, 2009.
“Commissioner Gillespie always referred to himself as the ‘go to commissioner’ from the day I became county judge,” said Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley. “I found him to be just that, willing to do any job, any tasks, even those unrelated to what a county commissioner would have to do.” Judge Hurley has been a friend of Lonnie for several decades and did business with him as well.
Commissioner Gillespie was on every building committee the county had. Commissioner Gillespie especially loved construction projects. He liked to be involved in every one of those projects in the county. “Lonnie was the construction commissioner,” said Judge Hurley. There was animal control facility, justice center, county jail and Precinct 3 enlargement projects.
“When I came on board he started running all of his work by me and I just worked very closely with Commissioner Gillespie,” said Judge Hurley. “He was a kind, good hearted and a well intentioned individual with a very good nature. He was patient and calm and could always be called on by me to discuss issues with. I feel like I’ve lost my right arm. Lonnie participated in everything we had going on.
“Lonnie was always a positive influence, was easy to work with, not devisive, not argumentative,” said Hurley. “He always mentioned his views and had a lot of common sense. We found a way to agree on just about everything.”
Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward said, “We have lost such a valuable asset to Atascosa County. I’ve known Lonnie for 36 years and I considered him a good friend and he was one heck of a county commissioner. He poured his heart and soul into the job. We are going to miss him tremendously.”
Anytime the sheriff needed any minor work done over at the jail, all Sheriff David Soward had to do was call Lonnie and he’d get right on it. He liked things that you could do with your hands. He was in the cabinet business. He liked masonry work and building things.
Lonnie started out in the construction business at an early age, building homes with his father, Truxton Gillespie. He resided in North Leming. Lonnie grew up in the Pleasanton and Leming area and graduated from Pleasanton High School in 1970.
Bill Schuchman, from the Jourdanton area, said “Lonnie was a tireless Commissioner and was a super asset to Atascosa County. He was always on the job and left his thumbprint on almost every county project. Lonnie always found time to listen and was a special person.”
Mark Gillespie, son of Lonnie Gillespie was appointed to serve out his term as Precinct 1 Commissioner.
Funeral services will be on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 10:00 a.m. at Cowboy Fellowship Church in Pleasanton. For more information please see Gillespie’s obituary on page 11B. Comm. Lonnie Gillespie died of a self inflicted gunshot wound.