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Former Justice of the Peace J.W. Grigsby dies

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The Ellis County Press
MIDLOTHIAN - J.W. Grigsby, 61, a former precinct 4 justice of the peace, passed away Thursday, Aug. 16 at his home in Midlothian.

He died following a long battle with cancer, said Linda Grigsby, his wife of 40 years.

'He had been really sick the whole year,' she said. 'We had nurses around the clock for the last two and a half weeks.'

Linda Grigsby said J.W. suffered a heart attack about two years ago and cancer of the larynx was removed in February, but the cancer had just spread too far.

Grigsby served as justice of the peace in Midlothian for four years in the early 1990s.

The well-known and often controversial Grigsby filed a lawsuit in 1994 against Debra Hanneman, then chairman of the Ellis County Republican Party, and the party's executive committee for slander.

Grigsby claimed Hanneman and the Republican Party made malicious statements about his character during a special meeting he was not invited to attend.

He claimed this slander led to the party's endorsement of Al Cornelius for the position of Ellis County judge, eliminating Grigsby's chance to run in the race.

The lawsuit mentioned the names of the entire executive committee and those in attendance at the meeting Grigsby said was illegally held.

According to Roger Fuller, an attorney and friend, part of the suit was settled and the rest was dismissed later by a Dallas judge.

'That was a real hard time in his life,' said Linda Grigsby.

She said allegations were made that were totally untrue and it became a nightmare for them.

Grigsby was born Feb. 16, 1940 in Marshall and moved to the Dallas area in 1962.

He and his brother, Bill Grigsby, began B&J Excavating Incorporated in 1967, which grew to become the largest excavating company in the D/FW area.

Grigsby was a longstanding member of the First United Methodist Church in Midlothian, the Midlothian Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Junior Past Patron of the Midlothian O.E.S., High Noon Club, Midlothian Chamber of Commerce and the Midlothian Rotary Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents, W.E. and Mable Jane Grigsby; three sisters and one brother. Survivors include his wife, Linda; daughters, Shelley Kemp and Shannon Hoagland; son, Jeffrey Wade Grigsby; and five grandchildren. Funeral services were Saturday, Aug. 18 at the First United Methodist Church in Midlothian, followed by burial in the Mount Zion Cemetery with Rev. Carl Freeto and Dr. Gary Mauldin officiating.

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