Ballinger, Texas will continue its small-town, everyday way of life, but it will not be the same without one of its most prominent and beloved citizens, Everett J. “Ebb” Grindstaff. Ebb passed from this earth to his new home on Monday, July 8, 2019, at the age of 88.
Ebb was born May 7, 1931, in Abilene to E. C. and Atha (Porter) Grindstaff. He grew up in Ballinger and graduated from Ballinger High School. He married Jeannette (Jay) White on April 3, 1954, in Ft. Worth.
A graduate of Baylor University with a BBA degree in business, and an LLB degree in law, Ebb joined the Army and served in Japan in counter-intelligence during the Korean Conflict. He returned to Ballinger and became a partner in the law firm of Grindstaff and Grindstaff with his father, E.C. “Judge” Grindstaff. Ebb was a candidate for Texas State Representative in 1956 and 1968.
An attorney in Ballinger since 1956, Ebb was appointed City Attorney in November of 1957 and remained in that office until he retired in January 2018, after 60 years of service. He continued his private practice, even during his time in the hospital, until his death.
A devoted member of Lions Club since 1956, Ebb was responsible for promoting the Juvenile Diabetes Program in Texas in 1969-1971. This program continues and includes the American Diabetes Association. The Lions State Office and Museum in Kerrville will be named in honor of Ebb.
Ebb became deeply involved in Lions Club International and served as International President in 1982-83. One of the leading international programs passed that year was the Journey for Sight. The Lions have always been involved in sight programs since the 1925 challenge of Helen Keller to be “Knights of the Blind.” Ballinger has continued this program over the years. Ebb also encouraged the Drug Education Program to “Just Say No to Drugs” endorsed by Nancy Reagan.
During his lifetime, Ebb traveled 50 countries and met hundreds of influential leaders, including President Sadat of Egypt, Prime Minister Begin of Israel, Mayor Jacques Chirac of Paris, France, who went on to become the President of France, U.S. presidents, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George Bush, as well as Pope John Paul II. Yet, Ebb treated the people of Ballinger, or people anywhere, with the same respect, kindness, and integrity as the dignitaries.
Ebb has written two books, LION Crossing the Sinai, and Texas Lions Celebrating 100 Years. He was finishing his third book, a biography. His wish that this book be completed will be fulfilled.
For continuing efforts on behalf of Lionism, Ebb received the Ambassador of Good Will Award (the highest honor bestowed upon association members), the Distinguished Service Award of the American Diabetes Association of 1983, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation 1983 Humanitarian Award for his work in helping diabetics worldwide, the Dr. Charles Best Award from the American Diabetes Association in 1984 (the highest award of that association), the President’s Volunteer Action Award from President Ronald Reagan, and two Extension Awards. He is a Melvin Jones Fellow, a Jack Welch Fellow of the Lions Camp, a Texas Lions Foundation Fellow, and has received numerous other awards.
From 1972 to 1975, Ebb was one of 15 State Bar of Texas Directors. He was a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and served on the insurance committee while a director. During his tenure, both the Health and the Professional Liabilities Insurance Programs began and/or were initiated. He was a Life Member Counselor at Baylor Law School.
Ebb was a member of the Ballinger Industrial Foundation for 25 years and was named Ballinger Citizen of the Year twice. He was a member of the Upper Colorado River Authority for 30 years and served 19 years as past chairman of that organization. He was past president of the Ballinger Chamber of Commerce, past district chairman and past district commissioner of the Tri-Rivers District of Concho Valley Council of Boy Scouts of America.
An avid golfer, Ebb continued playing until he entered the hospital. He would have played nonstop if the hospital had a putting green. His numerous golf buddies will remember his game and his humor for years to come. He followed all sports on television and was in the bleachers, on the course, in the field, or in the gym for Ballinger athletics as often as possible.
Ebb established what he called his “Legal Eagles,” which consisted of girls (and one boy) from Ballinger High School who worked during their last two years of high school as helpers and aides in his law office, either after school and/or during the summer. His display of work ethic and integrity were instrumental for the advancement of these young people in the business world.
With character and principles instilled by his parents, Ebb was a Lion’s Lion, a leader with a servant’s heart, a great teacher, an inspiration, and a wonderful friend. He touched the lives of people around the world and connected with people from all walks of life. He epitomized the Lions Club motto, “We serve.” A devout Christian, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ballinger where he served as a deacon.
Ebb is survived by his devoted wife, Jay, of Ballinger; son, Jeff Grindstaff of San Angelo; and daughter, Michelle Moussa of Dallas. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Will Grindstaff of Lubbock and Kate Grindstaff of San Angelo and their mother Elizabeth Grindstaff of College Station, Tanner Moussa of New York, and Mackenzie Moussa Lewis and husband, Austin, of Dallas; and favorite brother-in-law, Judge Albert White of Hico.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Ebb’s life on Saturday, July 13, at 2:00 pm at the First Baptist Church in Ballinger. A reception will be held at the Family Life Center following the service.
The family extends special thanks to Ballinger Memorial Hospital, Shannon Medical Center, Ballinger Home Health, Ballinger Lions Clubs, First Baptist Church family, Ebb’s secretaries, Monnie Davis and Theresa Patterson, and to all the loyal friends of the family.
Donations may be made to Texas Lions Camp, Texas Lions Office, Ballinger Memorial Hospital, Carnegie Library, Meals on Wheels, or First Baptist Church of Ballinger.