The town of Ballinger, Texas, will continue its small-town, everyday way of life, but it will not be the same without one of its most prominent and beloved citizens. Everett J. "Ebb" Grindstaff passed from this earth to his new home on Monday, July 8, 2019, at the age of 88. Ebb was born May 7, 1931, in Abilene to E. C. and Atha (Porter) Grindstaff. He grew up in Ballinger and graduated from Ballinger High School. He married Jeannette (Jay) White on April 3, 1954, in Ft. Worth. A graduate of Baylor University with a BBA degree in business, and an LLB degree in law, Ebb joined the Army and served in Japan in counter-intelligence during the Korean Conflict. He returned to Ballinger and became a partner in the law firm of Grindstaff and Grindstaff with his father, E.C. "Judge" Grindstaff. Ebb was a candidate for Texas State Representative in 1956 and 1968. An attorney in Ballinger since 1956, Ebb was appointed City Attorney in November of 1957 and remained in that office until he retired in January 2018, after 60 years of service. He continued his private practice, even during his time in the hospital, until his death.
A devoted member of Lions Club since 1956, Ebb was responsible for promoting the Juvenile Diabetes Program in Texas in 1969-1971. This program continues and includes the American Diabetes Association. The Lions State Office and Museum in Kerrville will be named in honor of Ebb. Ebb became deeply involved in Lions Club International and served as International President in 1982-83. One of the leading international programs passed that year was the Journey for Sight. The Lions have always been involved in sight programs since the 1925 challenge of Helen Keller to be "Knights of the Blind." Ballinger has continued this program over the years. Ebb also encouraged the Drug Education Program to "Just Say No to Drugs" endorsed by Nancy Reagan. During his lifetime, Ebb traveled 50 countries and met hundreds of influential leaders, including President Sadat of Egypt, Prime Minister Begin of Israel, Mayor Jacques Chirac of Paris, France, who went on to become the President of France, U.S. presidents, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George Bush, as well as Pope John Paul II. Yet, Ebb treated the people of Ballinger, or people anywhere, with the same respect, kindness, and humility as the dignitaries.
Ebb has written two books, LION Crossing the Sinai, and Texas Lions Celebrating 100 Years. Before his passing, he was working on his third book, a biography. For continuing efforts on behalf of Lionism, Ebb received the Ambassador of Good Will Award (the highest honor bestowed upon association members), the Distinguished Service Award of the American Diabetes Association of 1983, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation 1983 Humanitarian Award for his work in helping diabetics worldwide, the Dr. Charles Best Award from the American Diabetes Association in 1984 (the highest award of that association), the President's Volunteer Action Award from President Ronald Reagan, and two Extension Awards. He is a Melvin Jones Fellow, a Jack Welch Fellow of the Lions Camp, a Texas Lions Foundation Fellow, and has received numerous other awards. From 1972 to 1975, Ebb was one of 15 State Bar of Texas Directors. He was a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and served on the insurance committee while a director. During his tenure, both the Health and the Professional Liabilities Insurance Programs began and/or were initiated. He was a Life Member Counselor at Baylor Law School. Ebb was a member of the Ballinger Industrial Foundation for 25 years and was named Ballinger Citizen of the Year twice. He was a member of the Upper Colorado River Authority for 30 years and served 19 years as past chairman of that organization. He was past president of the Ballinger Chamber of Commerce, past district chairman and past district commissioner of the Tri-Rivers District of Concho Valley Council of Boy Scouts of America.
Ebb established what he called his "Legal Eagles," which consisted of girls (and one boy) from Ballinger High School who worked during their last two years of high school as helpers and aides in his law office, either after school and/or during the summer. His display of work ethic and integrity were instrumental for the advancement of these young people in the business world. With character and principles instilled by his parents, Ebb was a Lion's Lion, a leader with a servant's heart, a great teacher, an inspiration, and a wonderful friend. He touched the lives of people around the world and connected with people from all walks of life. He epitomized the Lions Club motto, "We serve." A devout Christian, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ballinger where he served as a deacon. An avid golfer, Ebb continued playing until he entered the hospital. He would have played nonstop if the hospital had a putting green. His numerous golf buddies will remember his game and his humor for years to come. He followed all sports on television and was in the bleachers, on the course, in the field, or in the gym for Ballinger athletics as often as possible.
Ebb is survived by his devoted wife, Jay, of Ballinger; son, Jeff Grindstaff of San Angelo; and daughter, Michelle Moussa of Dallas. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Will Grindstaff of Lubbock and Kate Grindstaff of San Angelo and their mother Elizabeth Grindstaff of College Station, Tanner Moussa of New York, and Mackenzie Moussa Lewis and husband, Austin, of Dallas; and favorite brother-in-law, Judge Albert White of Hico.
Jimmy Jack Hatcher was born on November 23, 1936 in Gainesville to Fred Hatcher and Rose (Lavender) Hatcher. He passed away on June 18, 2019 in Denton after a lengthy struggle with pneumonia. Jim attended and graduated from Gainesville High School in 1955. He then went on to graduate from Baylor Law School with his Juris Doctor degree in 1960. He was a County Attorney for Cooke County and began his private practice with L.V. Henry, whom he looked upon as a father image, as well as legal mentor. Jim also held the office of District Attorney for Wise, Cooke, and Jack Counties. Jim was elected Mayor of Gainesville in 1993 and served until 1997. His proudest accomplishment as mayor was building the War Memorial at Leonard Park, which was dedicated on November 11, 1996. Many citizens asked him to run for a second term, but he felt his accomplishments throughout his term brought an impact to the city that could possibly not be repeated. Just a few weeks before his death, Jim sold his law office on California St. and never got to practice in his new location at the Sullivant Building. Jim enjoyed playing golf and flying his many airplanes over the years. There are numerous stories about how Jim felt a great deal of pride knowing he was able to turn his plane into an "Angel Flight" to help strangers and people he knew without asking to be reimbursed for any fuel or time.
Jim married Margaret (Elkins) Hatcher. They had two sons, Jeff and Matt. Both children lost their lives in separate car accidents, Jeff at 22 and Matt at 16. This was very difficult on both of them. Jim was also preceded in death by Margaret in 2009 and his parents. He is survived by his wife Rebecca "Becky" Carr Hatcher, whom he had married on January 11, 2011. They shared their love of their 200-acre Black Angus cattle ranch near Moss Lake until his passing.
William "Bill" Kimble, JD '69, of Waco, Texas, passed away on June 14th, 2019. He was born on September 14th, 1945, in Uvalde, Texas, to Gussie and Paul Kimble. He graduated from Baylor University with his Bachelor of Arts in 1967 and his Juris Doctor in 1969 and worked for more than 25 years at Lone Star Legal Aid, where he dedicated his life to providing legal representation, education, and advocacy to underserved communities in Texas. He worked for many years on pro bono and civil rights cases, becoming a tenacious advocate for the poorest of the poor. In 2008, the Baylor Public Interest Legal Society established the Bill Kimble Service Award, which is given annually to the two students at Baylor Law who have accumulated the most hours in the Pro Bono and Public Service program.
Bill was a beloved and pugnacious lawyer, always fighting for the disadvantaged. "He was a very down-to-earth, warm, and wonderful lawyer," stated Joshua G. Borderud, Director of the Veterans Clinic at Baylor Law. "He inspired countless Baylor Law students with his trailblazing work on behalf of those in need. I was honored to call him my friend." Baylor is going to miss him very much, and we appreciate all that he did for his alma mater over the years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers: Ralph, Kenneth, and Charles Kimble; and granddaughter, Isabella Sofia Peralta. He is survived by his brother, Roy Kimble; son, David Kimble; two daughters, Miranda De La Garza of Laredo and Rachel Peralta of Arlington; and four grandchildren.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to Living Word Food Pantry, 1005 Dunbar Ave, Waco, TX 76704, 254-799-3796; or to Baylor Law for the Bill Kimble Service Award, by mailing a check to Baylor Law with "ill Kimble" in the memo line.
Christopher Edward Lane was born on November 8, 1951, in Dallas, TX, to Charles and Ruth Lane, and passed away on April 5, 2019. Aside from practicing Law, he enjoyed tinkering with cars and motorcycles, traveling to Colorado to visit Estes Park and The Broadmoor, long drives listening to Patsy Cline and Buddy Holly, and playing with his grandchildren in more recent years. As a child, he often rode horses on his family's land, enjoyed football and working at his family's plating company. In adulthood, he loved to watch and teach his children to play sports, how to ride and drive motorcycles, fish, shoot guns and appreciate nature. Some of his favorite places included the Dallas Arboretum, White Rock Lake and his family's lake house called Pinedale.
He is survived by his mother, Ruth Lane, five siblings, four children and grandchildren. His family hopes he is finally at peace after dealing with difficult health issues over the past years.