Bill Whitfield

Bill Whitfield

Former McKinney Mayor Bill Whitfield passed away on Oct. 27 at the age of 91 after battling with Alzheimer’s disease.

Whitfield was born in Hill County on Feb. 2, 1930 and was an accomplished athlete playing on the basketball, baseball and football teams at Itasca High School.

After retiring from his over 30 years at Kraft Foods, he served on the McKinney City Council for two terms and as the McKinney Mayor for an additional two terms.

“You know, Mayor Whitfield was involved in a whole lot of things that really guided and set McKinney up for the success we’re having today,” Mayor George Fuller said.

While serving as an elected official, Whitfield was involved in the development of State Highway 121 and US 75 and the McKinney National Airport. He also headed the renovation of McKinney’s historic courthouse and its transformation into a fine arts center.

As an environmentalist, Whitfield also played a key role in the preservation of The Crepe Myrtle Trails of McKinney and the city’s water resources. He became a water rights experts serving as a consultant for US senators and congressmen in addition to members of the European Union Parliament.

“He was just a wealth of knowledge and care and again, a strategic thinker about important subjects like that our average citizen doesn’t necessarily think of,” Fuller said. “We turn on the faucet, and water comes out. But, it comes out because people like Bill Whitfield planned.”

Whitfield was also described as a master gardener with a “Rembrandt of landscape,” as described by Fuller.

“The whole piece of educating, growing, cultivating…watching something blossom, I mean, I would say that was probably in some ways a metaphor for the way he approached all aspects of his life,” Fuller said.

Former McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said Whitfield devoted 100% of his time to the city when it experienced fast growth, infrastructure issues and a need for new road construction.

“It was good that we had somebody that was able to spend so much time and energy on those issues,” Loughmiller said.

Whitfield was described by both mayors as energetic, gracious and good at listening and conversational.

A funeral service was held for Whitfield on Tuesday at High Pointe Church of Christ.

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