Parker County Today May 2016 - Page 9

The Don Allen Power Drive Award
 It’s early spring, but it’s evident that North-Central Texas is set to endure another scorching summer. That means the staff of Jerry Durant’s dealerships will be pursuing two goals — they’ll be going about the business of selling cars and collecting fans to be distributed to senior citizens in the area, people who don’t have the means to have their air conditioning repaired or, worse, never had central air conditioning in the first place. When it’s almost too hot for anyone to want to test-drive a car, there are dealership workers who could make more money focusing on their sales, instead they’re out gathering fans — something Mr. Don Allen started.
“They have special meaning to me,” Allen once said. “I always like the fan drive. I always think about how just one fan can make the summer bearable for an older person.” 
Senior Center fan drives, stocking the supply closet for the Education Foundation — those are endeavors that got in the way of people falling for Don’s cynic routine. 
How did Don get to be such a nice guy? In his genuinely modest manner, Allen answered: “I really think it’s from being around Jerry for all these years. That’s the way Jerry is. It’s the way he’s always been. He leads by example. Jerry is a genuinely good person and this dealership is like a big family.” 
Don’s favorite charities included anything that helped further education in Parker County, including Weatherford College, and anything that improved the lot of Parker County’s senior citizens.
“I like being active behind the scene; I am not big on being out-front,” Don once said. “It is always the Senior Center, because there are a lot of different causes you can support. I think that the Senior Center is one [through which] you can touch a lot more people in a positive way than you can in a lot of other places. They probably need it as much or more than anyone else.” Sadly, we lost Don Allen in March 2015. Through the years he inspired numerous young people, so the spirit of Don Allen is still visible in his his mentorees. E.W. Mince Higher Education Award Hank was born in Windthorst, Archer County, Texas, but moved with his family to Weatherford when he was a very small child. He graduated from Weatherford High School in 1952 and headed to Baylor University. Hank was a tight end at Baylor during his collegiate days. After his senior year at Baylor in 1956, Hank joined the Green Bay James Doss Benevolent Banker Award  James Doss was a lifetime banker and a philanthropist best known now as the namesake for the Doss Student Center at Weatherford College and the Doss Heritage and Culture Center that is a repository for our county’s history. He rose from the lowest position at Farmers and Merchants Bank to its president in the over twenty years he worked there. To him, banking was personal, and Mr. Doss was known for his kindness, compassion and his business acumen. The James Doss Benevolent Banker Award is given to a banking professional who believes as he did that banking is personal and that customers are people and not account numbers. Jerry Blaisdell City Management Award Jerry Blaisdell has become a fixture in Weatherford’s municipal administration and has proven he is not afraid to take on a challenge. After a 23-year career in law enforcement, he retired from the Fort Worth Police Department in 1989. He was called back to duty as Weatherford PD’s Chief of Police in July of that same year. He held that job until 2007 when he was named assistant city manager. During a particularly difficult period at City PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Hank Gremminger Brilliant Builder Award Jack Borden Legal Eagle Award Jack Borden was a charter member of the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse, a gifted attorney and well-respected member of the Weatherford community. He was named America’s “Outstanding Oldest Worker” in 2009 by Experience Works for his dedication to continue his daily work at his law office. Borden served two terms as district attorney before joining the FBI during World War II. He then returned home to practice law and later served two terms as mayor in the 1960s.
A high school dropout, Jack defied the odds and at 21 became a college student.
“Back then you didn’t have to have a high school diploma to go to Weatherford College,” Jack once told this reporter. “They let you gamble and give it your best shot.”
Jack graduated in 1931 from WC, then headed to the University of Texas in Austin. He worked his way through college then law school before he returned to Weatherford to practice law. Jack realized his ambitions in 1936, “I always wanted to be a country lawyer,” Jack said. MAY 2016 E.W. Mince was the longest-serving president in the history of Weatherford College. He came to WC in 1971 and spent over 20 years as its president. A lifelong proponent of higher education, Dr. Mince served as president of the Texas Association of Community Colleges. He was involved in local community groups like the Rotary Club, even volunteering at its annual pancake dinner long after his retirement and was honored as Weatherford’s Citizen of the Year in 1978. Packers and starred as a defensive back until 1966. He played briefly for the Dallas Cowboys before retiring from football and launching his career in banking and building. As a contractor, Hank loved building gorgeous, upscale, eye-popping homes and he was instrumental in renovating the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. He also desperately wanted to make Parker County a better place to live, so he ran for the office of Parker County Commissioner in 2000, was elected and took office on Jan. 1, 2001. He died of a heart attack on Nov. 2, 2001. Some of Parker County’s loveliest homes still stand as a monument to the talent and creativity of Hank Gremminger as does the Fort Worth Stockyards, which partly thanks to Hank, is now a thriving retail destination. 7