OBITUARY: George Grubb

The Honorable Judge George Emmitt Grubb Jr. left this earth on January 4, 2022, at the age of 79. He was born to Vivian Edna Bloys Grubb and George Emmitt Grubb Sr. on July 7, 1942. He lived on various ranches until 1959. The family moved to Fort Davis after drought shut down many ranches. He lived in Fort Davis until he graduated from high school in 1960. He went to New Mexico State in the fall of 1960 on a tennis scholarship. He came home after two semesters and went to work at McDonald Observatory as a runner. He then enrolled in the Industrial Technology program at Sul Ross State University and graduated with a major in industrial arts and a minor in business administration. He worked hard at both school and his job and excelled in both. Soon he was physical plant supervisor at McDonald Observatory where he was employed for 35 years. He then became Jeff Davis County justice of the peace for four years. After his time as justice of the peace, he was elected county judge and served that position for 14 years. Being county judge was his dream. He loved that job more than any other.


He married Linda Jean Roach in 1962. They were blessed with two daughters, Tamara Lea and Lana Renè. He later married the love of his life, Patricia McChristian, on August 24, 1990. He gained three bonus children Dawna, Dana and Clay. Pat and George were happily married for 31 years until his death.


George was athletic. He participated in all sports through junior high and high school, but he excelled in tennis. He even received a scholarship for tennis to New Mexico State. As an adult, he won many tournaments ––his most noteworthy being the Police Olympics Champion in singles and doubles. When he couldn’t participate in a sport, he was officiating it. 


He loved guns! He repaired them, studied them and built them. He hated kits! He would cut the stock and bore and blue the barrels. He liked the artistic side of engraving the stocks and locks. Each one had a name and a story. You could see the respect he had for them when he would shoot. He was always an advocate for gun safety and education. He was a dead eye – so there was no sense in running! George was a founding member of the Davis Mountain Brigade Muzzleloading Club. He built flintlocks and percussions, all of them precise and bullseye ready. 


His industrial technology degree allowed him to be good at many things. He liked working in the machine shop, fixing cars, building things, working with his hands and problem solving. These talents made him the perfect fit for McDonald Observatory. He and his crew gave back to the community by building Bart Coan Field, fixing the score boards, fixing the town clock and building fences at both schools.


One thing he loved as much as his God and family was Jeff Davis County. He never entertained leaving Fort Davis. He was committed to making a difference, whether it was as a volunteer, school related, police officer, first responder, political office or just because he could. George cared deeply about leaving a place better than he found it. His integrity and character was well known and respected throughout many areas of Texas. He was a man of few words (unless he was spinning a tale), but you needed to listen if he spoke. He never made a decision concerning anything that he didn’t weigh, study and pray about any of it until he was ready to move forward. He had many hours of training for all the positions he held. He had certificates in brush, residential, commercial and automotive firefighting from Texas A&M — more than many fire chiefs in big cities. He started fire schools for volunteers both at McDonald Observatory and in Fort Davis. George also received a Peace Officers Masters Certificate in law enforcement. Just another example of his dedication to his role.


He was dedicated to so many associations and organizations. I am sure we have missed many but here is a list of those we know of: He served as a deputy sheriff from 1974 to 2002; Rio Grande Council of Governments president in 2010; Big Bend Community Action Board of Directors president in 2009; member of the Fort Davis Volunteer Fire Department from 1997 to present; Jeff Davis County fire marshal from 1976 to 1999; McDonald Observatory fire chief from 1962 to 1997; emergency services EMT; Fort Davis School board member from 1975 to 1992, holding president and vice president positions; volunteer at the Fort Davis National Historic Site; member of the Texas Army; Jeff Davis Historical Commission member from 2014 to present; Fort Davis Lions Club/Member Lions International as president, board of directors, secretary and District 3T vice president; and Big Bend Area Law Enforcement Officers Association, holding positions as president, vice president, secretary, and member of the board of directors.


He was not one to boast or thump religion. He was a man that believed God was everywhere. He did serve the church his great-grandfather built as a church elder and trustee for the Fort Davis Presbyterian Church but communed with God in nature and on his own terms. He instilled the importance of faith by his actions and leadership both in his family and community.


George was preceded in death by his parents, George and Vivian Grubb, and a brother Otis LeRoy.


George was survived by his wife, Patricia Grubb, who followed him in death just days later. He is survived by daughter Dr. Tamara L. Grubb and her husband Dr. Bill Meyers of Uniontown, Washington; daughter Lana R. Hickok and her husband Ray of Crawford, Texas; daughter Dawna M. Fretwell and her husband Charles of Maysville, Oklahoma; daughter Dana D. Ohlsen and her husband Jeremy of Fort Davis, Texas; son Clay McChristian and his wife Christy of Graham, Texas. He was blessed with grandchildren –– Kelsey Hickok, Evan Hickok, Trevor Hickok, Brendan Hickok, Jacob Headrick, Hayden Headrick, Regan Headrick, Adam Fretwell, Bryan Fretwell, Allyn Sanchez, Alyssa Sanchez Stewart and Rylee McChristian. He loved his six great-grandchildren: Jaxyn, Analie, Cambree, Garrett, Sadie and Peyton. 


George was honored at a celebration of life services at the Fort Davis High School Auditorium on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 2 p.m. Burial took place immediately after the service at Hillcrest Cemetery in Fort Davis. The family received family and friends at Nana’s house for a reception of coffee/tea and cookies in honor of George’s love of his afternoon coffee, but more importantly the stories shared among friends.

Alpine Memorial Funeral home is entrusted with his services. Online condolences may be left at: The family asks for memorials to be sent to the Fort Davis Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 811, Ford Davis, TX 79734 or Bloys Campmeeting, PO Box 34, Valentine, TX 79854. To send flowers to the family in memory of George E. Grubb, please visit