Community, dignitaries pay tribute to former Heath City Manager Ed Thatcher

Ed Thatcher and friends
During a tribute to former Heath City Manager Ed Thatcher (front row, center), friends surrounded the guest of honor after unveiling a saddle and presenting Thatcher with a generous check for a custom-made saddle. Photo by Richard Redig, BRN Media.

(HEATH, TX – Feb. 1, 2019) Friends, family, community members, and dignitaries gathered last night at Hidden Creek for a public event honoring Ed Thatcher’s service to the citizens of Heath. Former Heath Mayor Brian Berry opened the tribute with kind words about Thatcher, who served as Heath’s City Manager for 14 years.

In honor of Ed’s service, US Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) presented Thatcher with a flag that was flown over the US Capitol.

“For 14 years, Ed Thatcher hasn’t just worked in this city; he has lived in this city. His family has lived in this city, he has prayed and worshipped in this city…Ed has cared about this city,” said Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe hired Thatcher as City Manager in 2005 while serving as Mayor. “Public servants always wonder about what our legacy will be; I don’t know what mine will ultimately be, but I hope that part of my legacy would be that I would be remembered as the guy that brought Ed Thatcher to Heath, Texas,” Ratcliffe said.

State Representative Justin Holland (R-Rockwall) spoke of Ed’s love for horsemanship and life. “I married into a family that did ranching and rodeo activities, but I didn’t grow up doing that. That was immediately one of the things that Ed and I had a special kinship for – horsemanship – because I didn’t know what I was doing, and he did,” said Holland, crediting Ed with helping him learn to ride. He went on to describe Thatcher as “one of the finest and most decent men that I’ve known in my entire life.” He called Ed a strong family man, a man that’s devoted to his church, and a professional with a wealth of knowledge of public administration and local governments.

Holland shared that Thatcher earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Brigham Young University, and that he has served the City of Garland, Southlake, Addison, Frisco, and Greenville. He’s served on the Board of Directors and has been president of the Texas City Management Association. Thatcher is married to Debbie and has six sons, six daughter-in-laws, and 14 grandchildren. Thatcher served the Heath community in a variety of ways, including being part of the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Posse.

Holland presented Thatcher with a Texas flag that’s flown over Austin in honor of his faithful service to the community. Thatcher was also presented with a commemorative plaque sent by Texas State Senator Bob Hall, who was unable to attend the event personally.

Heath DPS Director Chief Terry Garrett thanked Thatcher and his support of public safety officers. He presented Thatcher with a retired helmet mounted in a special plaque, “in grateful appreciation of your commitment and support for the officers and staff of Heath DPS.”

The tribute concluded with the unveiling of a saddle and the presentation of a check for $5,000. The check was the result of generous donations from friends and supporters so that Ed may have his own, custom-made saddle. Thatcher addressed the crowd with moving words of gratitude, recognizing his staff and the community, his friends and family.

Story by Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News. Photos by Richard Redig.

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