By Judy Sheridan
Parker County Public Information Officer said he spoke with Treasurer Jim Thorp last Monday. If he knew it would be the last time he would see Thorp alive, he would have ended their conversation differently.
“I’ve worked with Jim for 12 years,” he said. “I had a nice conversation with him Monday, and if I’d known I’d never see him again, I would have given him a hug or something. It’s so shocking and sad to lose a friend and coworker.”
The 50-year-old Thorp, an Aledo resident, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on Tuesday. On his way to a lunch engagement, he reportedly walked into Tri Cities Urgent Care Clinic in Willow Park with chest pains and collapsed. He was transferred to Weatherford Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Thorp’s funeral services were held Friday at Aledo United Methodist Church.
Prompted by the sudden death, Parker County Commissioners met in emergency session Wednesday to authorize Chief Deputy Dawn Norfleet to temporarily oversee operations until commissioners determine a long-term solution.
The court voted 4-0, with Commissioner Dusty Renfro absent, to authorize the chief deputy to sign any necessary documents and secure a temporary short-term bond, payable to the county judge. In addition, commissioners authorized the judge as a secondary signatory on any documents needed to continue operation of the treasurer’s office.
The emergency action was taken to “make sure there are no gaps in operation,” according to County Judge Mark Riley.
County Attorney John Forrest said the court’s action officially recognized the chief deputy’s “de facto” status as a signatory, ensuring that financial agencies would also do so.
While the county treasurer is elected, the chief deputy is appointed.
Thorp, who took office in January of 1995, completed half of his current four-year term Jan. 1, County Clerk Jeane Brunson said. Once that milestone passes, the county is not required to hold a special election to fill the vacancy, she said. Thorp’s current term expires in December 2014.
His wife, Zan, is a fourth-grade teacher at Stuard Elementary in the Aledo ISD.
“He was one of the sharpest individuals I’ve ever met,” Norfleet said, “and he was a heck of an investment officer. Anyone could throw out a question from the state, and he’d have the answer. He knew the statutes.”
Norfleet said Thorp loved the county and his job. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and a big supporter of Aledo ISD sports.
“He liked to cook and grill,” she said, “and he would cook all weekend and bring in pork loins and brisket. He made a stew every Halloween for county employees.”
Brunson, who described Thorp as a dear friend, said she met him as they campaigned together for office in 1994.
“He was a prankster,” she said, “My back door and the front door to his office were entirely too close. I never knew what was going to be sitting on my desk or chair.
“And he was clever; he could keep a straight face. Then the corners of his mouth would turn up, and you’d know that you’d been had.”
Brunson said the thing she admired most about Thorp — and his wife — was their relationship.
“He absolutely loved his wife,” she said. “They were always together. My heart aches for her.”
By Judy Sheridan
- Aledo ExtrA
Ride for Heroes a success
Nearly 1,200 cyclists flooded the roads around East Parker County during Saturday’s 12th annual Moritz Ride for Heroes.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 7 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 7 Aledo ISD trustee race, Hoyt Harris, James Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 6 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 6 Aledo ISD trustee race, incumbent David Davis and challenger Farida Goderya.
Callaway gets A+
Anita Callaway, an English teacher at Daniel Ninth Grade Center, was named “Teacher of the Year” during the 2014 Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony held April 15 in the Aledo High School auditorium.
Man dies in Farmer Road crash
A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. April 15 in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.
Fire victims' fund established
Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to the Hancock family, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community.
Delay adds $56,000 to Aledo Trail project
The long delay in the Aledo Trail downtown couplet, now due to finish in summer instead of spring, will add about $56,000 to the cost of the project, Parker County commissioners learned last week, when they approved a change order upping the contract to around $3.3 million.
Parker County Sheriff's Report March 31-April 11
Theft of property
A deputy was dispatched to 8600 Interstate 20 East, Aledo, in reference to a theft investigation. The 57-year-old male complainant said an unknown suspect stole $1,000 of copper wire from the Sprint tower on the site. A case was made for the theft of property: aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
Bearcats ‘N Boots Gala: dinner, auction and entertainment
• 6:30 p.m. at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth.
• Catered by The Wild Mushroom; entertainment by Four Day Weekend.
• Tickets cost $100.
• Benefitting the Aledo ISD Education Foundation
• Title sponsor Buford-Thompson Company.
• For more information, go to aledoef.org.
EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation
For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.
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