Special to the E-T

CLEBURNE - United Cooperative Services is morning the lost of one of its finest. Board of directors President Jack McCaslin unexpectedly passed away Friday morning due to complications following cardiovascular surgery.

Throughout his many years of service as a director, McCaslin was a tireless champion of member-owned electric cooperatives. Working with fellow board members, he helped to establish policies for the former Johnson County Electric Cooperative. Seeing many potential member benefits by combining forces with Erath County Electric Cooperative, McCaslin - along with the directors on each cooperative’s board -spearheaded a consolidation of Johnson County and Erath County electric cooperatives in 2000, creating what is today known as one of the most successful electric cooperatives in the nation - United Cooperative Services.

“Passion is an honorable captor and Jack McCaslin had a passion for many things - his country, his family, his business and for this electric cooperative,” said United CEO Ray Beavers. “His contributions and his leadership at the helm of our Board of Directors were indicative of a man who understood both the value of compromise and the strength of stubborn resolve. Those attributes not only served the cooperative and its members well, but they helped shape and position United Cooperative Services as one of the nation’s most efficient and proactive cooperatives in the nation,” added Beavers.

McCaslin began serving as a director in March 1993. He was raised in Wolfe City and attended Southern Methodist University on a track scholarship. He graduated from SMU in 1961 with a Bachelor’s of Business degree in accounting and obtained his CPA (Certified Public Accountant) designation in 1966. McCaslin served on active duty in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1962 - 1965. He was a practicing CPA for over 45 years, first with the international accounting firm of Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte) and later in his own firm, McCaslin & Company. Working up until his final days, McCaslin was a principal with Whitley Penn, LLP, an accounting and professional consulting firm with offices in Fort Worth and Dallas.

“We are deeply saddened by our sudden loss of Mr. McCaslin. He was a friend and a devoted advocate of cooperative ideals, and no one was more committed to ensuring that every United member’s interests were considered in this cooperative’s business course,” Beavers said. “His leadership and his friendship will be sorely missed, but we know he shared our belief that death and love are two wings that bear us from earth to heaven. To live in the heart and minds of those he left behind is not to die; it is to live forever.”