Frisco bids farewell to former Mayor Harold Paul Bacchus, 84, who passed away Saturday in Nocona, Texas. Bacchus is Frisco’s longest serving mayor, with six two-year terms, beginning in 1966, before term limits.
Generations of Bacchus supporters and friends joined his family at Tuesday’s services in the chapel at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home. Former mayor Mike Simpson was among the standing-room only crowd.
“I knew what Harold Bacchus had contributed as mayor, but I had no idea of the many volunteer commitments he made after leaving office,” Simpson said following the services. “There must have been eight to 10 organizations named.”
The decades-long commitment of Harold Bacchus and his wife, Clara, who predeceased him, started in Frisco in October 1946. Bacchus came to town as Frisco’s new depot agent for the Frisco railroad. (Harold married Clara Louise Dunn on August 18, 1946 in Fort Worth)
The couple dedicated themselves to their new home as volunteers, said longtime friend and former mayor Bob Warren.
“He was a servant,” Warren said, when asked to share his memories. “Harold was the first president of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Kiwanis club at one time, and a member of the Bicentennial Committee that wrote Frisco’s first history book in 1976.”
Words of praise come easily to those who knew the man as well as the legend.
“Frisco has lost a friend, city father and a great man,” said current Frisco Mayor Maher Maso. “His dedication and passion for our city set a high-bar for all elected officials. The success of Frisco today is based on the foundation that helped build with others. I am proud to have called Harold a friend and mentor, and we will all miss him.”
Bacchus will be long remembered for his vision of what the city of Frisco would become.
“Mayor Bacchus faithfully served this city as mayor during a critical time in our growth and was an important part of determining our current city boundaries as well as our future water supply,” said former mayor Mike Simpson “These were two essential elements that provided for the growth of Frisco.”
Bacchus cared deeply for the well-being of Frisco, said city manager George Purefoy.
“He had a drive to do great things for Frisco. He also possessed a very strong personality,” Purefoy said. “He used these gifts to lead the effort to establish Frisco’s ultimate city limits by annexing down the center line of the state highways when strip annexation was legal in Texas. He also put in place utility lines throughout (what was) then countryside to enhance development.”
Harold Bacchus Community Park is named for Frisco’s longest serving mayor. The 79-acre park was completed in 2007.
“I remember Mayor Bacchus being very humbled by the naming of the community park in his honor and his pride in the city that he helped serve as mayor,” said Rick Wieland, director of parks and recreation. “We will miss him.”
Harold P. Bacchus’s was born June 17, 1925 in Fort Worth to Morgan Paul and Alma Rae (Watson) Bacchus. Harold married Clara Louise Dunn on August 18, 1946 in Fort Worth.
He was a depot agent with the railroad and a member of the Frisco Church of Christ. Harold was Mayor of the City of Frisco for twelve years and was also the Commander of the Frisco VFW. He is survived by his sons, Terry Paul Bacchus and his wife, Rosemary of Frisco, Steve Bacchus and his wife, Suzie of Lewisville, Tom Bacchus and his partner, Anthony of Haslet; grandchildren, Amy Bacchus of Blanchard, Okla., Barry Bacchus and his wife, Lanna of Frisco, Jason Bacchus of Denton, Cory Bacchus and his wife, Danielle of Lewisville, Paul Bacchus of St. Jo, Texas, Mophat Chongo of Lewisville, Nathaniel B. Luedicke of Haslet; and great-grandchildren, Alex Bacchus and Lydie Bacchus, of Frisco.
Thanks to Jan Belamy and the Frisco Star Enterprise