|Birth: ||Jul. 29, 1912|
|Death: ||Sep. 24, 2008|
Former Pittsburg Mayor Abernathy dies
By LOU ANTONELLI - Managing Editor
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:06 AM CDT
Former Pittsburg Mayor D. H. Abernathy, 96, died early Wednesday at his home in Pittsburg. Mayor of the Camp County seat for 52 years, Abernathy only retired in 2006 after setting a record for longevity in public service. Abernathy was elected to the Pittsburg City Council in 1949, and five years later, he began his remarkable 52-year tenure as mayor of Pittsburg.
During his combined 57 years of service on the city council, he was absent from only eight meetings, according to a resolution submitted by State Senator Kevin Eltife and passed in his honor in 2006 by the State Senate.
Abernathy was the great-great-great-nephew of Major W. H. Pitts, the man for whom Pittsburg was named, and was born to Walter and Callie Mae Abernathy.
He graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1929, earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and worked in Oklahoma and Arkansas before returning to Pittsburg to serve as the city electrical inspector for 23 years.
He also worked for the Lone Star Steel Company, where he was employed from 1947 until his retirement as division manager in 1977.
Among his civic achievements were serving as head of the Camp County Chamber of Commerce, the East Texas Council of Governments, and the Texas Municipal League.
He was also active in the Pittsburg First Methodist Church, the statewide Fire Advisory Committee for the Texas Forest Service, the Camp County Arts Council, the Northeast Texas Economic Development District, Inc., executive committee, and the Camp County Ambulance Service.
He was the recipient of countless honors recognizing his important contributions to his community, including Man of the Year awards from the Camp County Chamber of Commerce and Pittsburg Business and Professional Women.
The Texas State Highway Commission, now the Texas Department of Transportation, presented him with a Road Hand Award, its highest honor.
He was also recognized by the FFA, the First Methodist Church, and the Shriners of Pittsburg.
Abernathy was very involved in transportation issues, and his efforts resulted in a number of significant highway improvements, including the widening of several roads and the construction of the Green Carpet Memorial Route. Loop 179 was named D. H. Abernathy Boulevard in his honor.
Services are pending with the Erman Smith Funeral Home in Pittsburg. He is survived by his wife, Laverne, their children, Mary Lou, David, and Betty Ann, and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In the resolution passed by the legislature in honor of his retirement as mayor in 2006, it was stated: "Embodying the highest ideals of public service, D.H. Abernathy has made a lasting contribution to his state, and it is indeed an honor to commend him for his years of service and dedication and for the myriad ways he has enhanced the quality of life for his fellow citizens of Pittsburg."
PITTSBURG - Services for D.H. Abernathy, 96, Pittsburg, former mayor, are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Pittsburg with the Rev. Richard Heyduck officiating.
Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, Pittsburg, under direction of Erman Smith Funeral Home, Pittsburg.
Mr. Abernathy died Sept. 24, 2008, at his residence.
He was born July 29, 1912, in Pittsburg to the late Walter B. and Callie Mae Partridge Abernathy. He received his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma University and was retired director of Industrial Relations for Lone Star Steel. He served on the Pittsburg City Council for five years and then as mayor of Pittsburg for 52 years, ending in 2006. He was a member of First United Methodist Church, and a charter member of East Texas Council of Governments. He also was on board of directors of Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum.
Survivors include his wife, Laverne Abernathy, Pittsburg; son, W. David Abernathy, Pittsburg; daughters, Mary Lou Spradling, Leonard, and Betty Ann Harrel, Pittsburg; eight grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
Family will receive friends 4-7 p.m. Friday at Abernathy House, 406 Quitman St., Pittsburg.
If desired, memorials may be made to Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum, Pittsburg Fire Dept., 200 Rusk St., Pittsburg, 75686; or First United Methodist Church, 109 College St., Pittsburg, 75686.
Published in the Tyler Morning Telegraph on 9/25/2008
Walter B Abernathy (1883 - 1941)
Callie Mae Partridge Abernathy (1891 - 1985)
Rose Hill Cemetery
Created by: Jackie M. Isham, Sr.
Record added: Sep 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30063586