Paul Elizondo, musician, teacher, and Bexar County Commissioner for nearly forty years, died today at the age of 83, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Elizondo was just elected to his ninth term on Commissioners Court last month, was not believed to be in ill health. His family said his passing was 'unexpected.' Services have not been arranged.
Elizondo was a U.S. Marine, and a music teacher in the Edgewood ISD, and was a master saxophonist, heading a band that played at weddings, graduations, and other events for nearly sixty years.
He was band director and music teacher at both Edgewood and San Antonio ISD's in the sixties and seventies.In 1979, Elizondo joined the Texas House of Representatatives, and in 1982 he was elected to the Bexar County Commission. Elizondo was a graduate of St. Mary's University, and a parishioner of Holy Rosary Parish.
“Paul was the best of men. Whenever he sees some way in which the County can step up its service to the Community, he makes sure it gets done” County Judge Nelson Wolff said.
Wolff added this sentiment this morning: "Paul was my dearest friend. Over 17 years, we forged a strong partnership on the commissioners court. His life’s work will leave a lasting impact on our community. I will miss him terribly."
Mayor Ron Nirenberg also praised Elizondo's long service today.
"For over a generation, Paul Elizondo was an icon of the West Side and a force in Bexar County government and politics. His influence will be felt for decades to come. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time," the mayor said.
Elizondo's influence on Bexar County is undisputed.
Among the projects which he spearheaded include the Bexar County Flood Control Program, which preserved the homes of many people in Elizondo's beloved west side. He was also the main mover of the Robert B. Green Hospital expansion, the expansion at University Hospital, the San Pedro creek restoration project, and the construction of the Museum and Mission Reaches of the San Antonio River.
“I entered public office to do my part to support my local government. I also wanted to make sure that local government was doing its part to help its people. With the support of our County Judge Nelson Wolff and my colleagues on Commissioners Court, I’m helping to make sure it is” Elizondo said at an event last year honoring his long service to Bexar County.
Elizondo is survived by his wife Irene and their three grown children. The family released the following statement today:
"This morning, Commissioner Paul Elizondo passed away at his home. His passing was unexpected. The 83-year old San Antonio native had just celebrated the Christmas holiday with his family. Details of his funeral services will be forthcoming."
PICTURE: BEXAR COUNTY COMMISSION