PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ANN MCELROY
It isn’t easy to think about how life happens. Sometimes we make plans, sometimes we try to avoid troubles. But, most of all, we hope to do well and pray that—somehow, someway—things will turn out for the best. And thinking about things that turn out well, here’s a brief history of Don McElroy and his family.
Don made his debut on April 2, 1942 (4/2/42). He was the first-born of his parents Marguerite and Estral McElroy. Don grew up in a small wood-frame house in Ralls, TX. There were five children—two sons and three daughters. Don’s early life revolved around riding horses and bicycles and playing games with his neighbor friends.
The Don McElroy Family inherited two parcels of land near Ralls, Texas. Don decided at a young age that he didn’t want to be a farmer. Instead, at the age of 14, he decided to get in the irrigation business. To this day, Don is still in the irrigation business!!! And, Don’s only son, Eric, is following in his footsteps.
While working in the irrigation business, Don received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Tech. After leaving Tech, he pursued opportunities in banking, insurance, and investing. Don had a surprising ability to understand complicated projects and, with the help of several mentors, Don became a clever and efficient business man.
On the personal side of things, Don met Lisa, a beautiful and talented young woman in Dallas, who was a stewardess for a major airline. They got married, moved to Lubbock, and soon had three children.
While in Lubbock, Don had the fortuitous opportunity to meet an unexpected mentor who suggested that he consider a move to Muleshoe. At the time, Muleshoe was a thriving town and offered some interesting opportunities for Don and his family. So….the family moved to Muleshoe. There, Don had his own business, was astute in business and, due to his longstanding experience in agricultural irrigation, was able to succeed surprisingly well.
Time passed. Don’s children grew up and they all pursued degrees and were on paths that led to a variety of opportunities. Then, unfortunately Don’s wife passed away.
Time passed and after a while, Don decided to seek another companion and he met Ann Lee. Ann was a single mom, had three grown children, lived in Austin and was a friend of Don’s brother, Stan McElroy. Ann and Don fell in love and were married in February 2000.
After Don and Ann were married, it seemed like life went into overdrive and it’s been that way since. Soon after their wedding, they moved to an upscale RV Park on South Padre Island. The Park was a brainchild of Don’s brother, Stan, and was owned by a consortium consisting of Don, Stan, and several other investors. Miraculously, KOA, a large nation-wide RV Park was in growth mode and made a generous offer to purchase the RV Park. Ann and Don used part of the funds from the sale of the RV Park to purchase a beautiful 100-acre property on the Colorado River in San Saba, Texas.
Soon, Eric returned to Muleshoe and became very active in the family business. Eric and Don now manage the business together with the help of several key managers and other employees. A few years ago, the company built a beautiful new facility which now employs about 20 workers. In addition, the company embraces modern technology and seeks to stay ahead of best practices and emerging opportunities.
One of the most important additions to the business is Mallory Olenik McElroy. Eric and Mallory were married in 2014. Mallory has been an extraordinary partner in the family and the business. She seems to never tire of all the activities that are required to keep the family and the business running well.
In addition to our family, it’s important to acknowledge a number of employees who have made and continue to make significant contributions to the business. Among those from the past are Wayne Peterson, Sharon Montgomery, H.W. (Ringo) Ring, Tammy and Tim Black, and Valdo Perez. Currently John Loucks, Connie and Randy Clayton and others work tirelessly to provide extraordinary service to all our employees and customers.
On the personal side, our large and diverse family consists of six adult children, their spouses and 19 grandchildren. Our kids and grandkids have an array of varied interests. We are very proud of our family and are grateful for the wonderful experiences we have all shared.
We could spend a-month-of-Sundays describing all the amazing opportunities our grandchildren have embraced. And we are grateful EVERYDAY for all the wonderful experiences God has given our family.
Senior Center Activities:
Matter of Balance Workout, 10-11 a.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Loteria – 1 p.m., Nov. 22
CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING: Nov. 23 and Nov. 24
Pictures with Santa – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nov. 30
Christmas Caroling provided by Mrs. Montiel and the 1st Grade Class – noon, Dec. 1
Bailey County Senior Center