March 15, 1940 – August 7, 2023
While serving as editor of County Progress Magazine, Pat Coursey never missed a meeting of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, shared his wife, Nelle Coursey.
“He loved the Association,” added Nelle, who attended many of the state and regional conferences with her husband. Pat passed away on Aug. 7 at the age of 83.
Pat followed in the footsteps of his father, Clark Coursey, who took on the role of editor in 1941. Clark bought a half-interest in the magazine in the 1940s and later purchased the entire publication.
Clark Coursey remained editor until he died, at which time his wife, Melba, headed the magazine for about 18 months before turning over operations to their sons, Pat and Sam, who had been working with the magazine.
The Coursey brothers published the magazine until 1995, when it was bought by H.C. Zachry, president of Zachry Publications. Operations were moved to Abilene where they remain today, with Becky Frost as publisher.
“I always looked forward to seeing Pat at our conferences,” recalled former Anderson County Commissioner Truman Starr, a past president of the North & East Association. “He was fun to be around, and he was always taking photos. In fact, he would often make an album for association presidents following a conference.”
In 1991-92, Pat received the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Distinguished Service Award.
The current County Progress staff will be forever grateful to the Coursey family for investing in the magazine and laying a solid foundation for a thriving publication.
William Patrick “Pat” Coursey was born March 15, 1940, in Abilene to Clark C. Coursey and Melba Fisher Coursey. He passed from this life on August 7, 2023, at the age of 83.
The Coursey family moved to Brownwood when Pat was 3 months old.
Pat married Blenda Wheeler Coursey on Dec. 26, 1969, and they spent 53 1/2 years together and were always traveling together to conventions and other places.
Pat was a printer by trade but had many more extended interests. He and his brother Sam bought Banner Printing from their parents in 1976 along with County Progress Magazine which is the official publication of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. They owned and operated the magazine until 1995 when they sold it to Zachry and Associates in Abilene. They continued with the printing business until 2013 when they closed the business.
Pat started working for Brownwood Banner and Printing during the summer of his 4th grade year. He started out sweeping floors.
He treasured the years working with the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas and all the friends he made during those years he was editor, manager, writer, and photographer for the magazine. He went to five conventions a year all in different parts of the state and never missed one in the years he ran the magazine. He was awarded the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Distinguished Service Award.
Pat was an avid photographer, and his photographs can be seen in several homes and businesses in the area. He was one of the founding members of the Photography Club in Brownwood and was also Photographer of the Year for the photo club. He was Artist of the Year in 2017 for the Brownwood Art Association. Even in his last weeks, he loved riding around and photographing the birds in our area.
Pat served on boards for the surrounding area including the Brown County Historical Commission, the Brown County Historical Society (lifetime member), and the Hospital Authority Board. While chairman of the Historical Commission, he was the one who negotiated with Brown County to make the Old Jail a museum.
Pat was also on the committee to secure the property from Margret and Francis Lehnis to establish the Railroad Museum near the depot where the old granary was located.
Pat was very honored to be appointed by the city of Brownwood as the councilman from Ward 3, where he served for 21 years.
During this time, the city was working on their 20-year master plan, and one of the things they did was revitalize downtown Brownwood. When the old Penney’s building was demolished and they were in a quandary as to what to do with it, Pat suggested a downtown city park with restrooms where out-of-town people could come downtown and enjoy all the shops and activities downtown. With the help of his former secretary, the city agreed to rename Center Park and make it Pat Coursey Park. He was thrilled when the citizens started doing more downtown and using the park in his name. He delighted in seeing the news and all the events happening at his park. He was very pleased with the recent updates to the park.
He helped bring the sewage treatment plant up to standard and often joked that the only place he would leave his name on a plaque was at the sewer treatment plant.
Pat was the second person to be appointed to the Central Texas Council of Governments and served two terms as president of that organization.
Pat is survived by his wife Nelle of 53 1/2 years; daughter Alicia Coursey and husband Robert Scarboro of Pflugerville; grandchildren Wesley Kalk, wife Sarah; Jacob Kalk, wife Hannah; Amber Sansom, husband Chase; and Patrick Tanner Coursey; 7 great-grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces.
Pat was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Carrie Mechaele Coursey, son Gary Patrick Coursey, brother Sam Coursey, and several other relatives, close cousins, and a host of friends.
It was Pat’s request that instead of flowers, please make memorials to The Top of Texas Corgi Rescue Inc. c/o Gail Hefley 8708 Circle Dr. Amarillo TX 79110, or to the charity of your choice.
There will be a celebration of life on October 7 at 10 a.m. at Riverside Park in Brownwood.
To read Pat’s obituary in full, go to https://bit.ly/3sREbde.