Thomas Regan “Tick” Granger passed away at The Meadows early Monday morning surrounded by family. He had just celebrated his 85 birthday Dec. 26 and had a massive heart attack the next day.

Granger was the patriarch to one of Orangefield’s founding families, living in the small town his entire life. He spent a lifetime in service to his community and his church. Granger proudly served in the Navy during World War II. Granger married the love of his life, Sarah Smith, on Jan. 21, 1948. They raised their family together in the small country town.

“Tick,” as he was known to everyone, worked in the Orangefield oil fields before hiring on at E.I. DuPont Sabine Riverworks. Upon retiring, he was elected to serve as Orange County Commissioner of Precinct 3.

“He brought new life to the court. He was always upbeat and very energetic,” said then County Judge Pete Runnels. He said Granger was always eager to jump into new projects, had fresh ideas and was a problem solver, coming up with good solutions. “He was very intelligent with good common sense.”

Although Granger served only one term as commissioner, he was also on the court with former County Judge James Stringer. “He was a good man, thoughtful, did a good job and always voted his convictions,” said Stringer.

Granger also served as a member of the Orange County Drainage District, Orangefield ISD School Board and the Orange Memorial Hospital Board.

“He was a good supporter of Orangefield as an elected official and as a citizen,” said former Orangefield Superintendent Robert Montagne. Granger was not just considered a family friend by Montagne, but also a long standing personal friend.

A lifelong member of St. Helen Catholic Church, he served in many ministries, including the building committee and finance council. Granger was also a charter member of the Knights of Columbus #13070.

He was instrumental in the moving of St. Helen to its present location on Farm Road 1442.

The church could always count on his services at festivals, organizing, acting as Master of Ceremonies and providing music with “The Country Cousins.” Shirlene Broussard remembers hearing the “Milk Cow Blues.”

Music was a big part of Tick’s life. He was a talented steel guitar musician. He started out in the 1940’s playing a single neck lap steel, then graduated to a pedal steel. One of his first bands, “The Dixie Ramblers”, which with his brother, Wade, cousin, Leslie Sorter and others, played in area honky tonks. “Tick Granger and the Country Cousins” came later. Three of his children, Linda, Bonita and Stephen were members of the band; along with cousins, Leslie Sorter and Britt Godwin. Also included were friends, Marcia Duncan and Jimmy Burnett. “The Country Cousins” played several different venues and many charity events.

Granger also had a love of flying and frequently took to the skies in his own plane. As much as he loved the air, he also loved the earth and the food it provided for family and friends each year from his garden.

Granger will be buried on Thursday, which would have been his and Sarah’s 62 anniversary. Also left behind are his daughters, Linda Crawford and husband, George, Bonita Eaves and husband, Charles, Lisa Smith and husband, Bubba; sons, Tommy Granger and his fiancée, Peggy Stewart, Stephen Granger and wife, Glenda, Glenn Granger and wife, Barbara. He also has 38 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

“We lost a good Democrat, a good friend and a good man,” said Flo Edgerly, former Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3. Edgerly said she had brought communion to Sarah, Sunday at The Meadows. “[Tick] had not woke up in two days,” she said. “I knew it would not be long.”  She added, “He’s a very special friend and will be missed.”

 “Our condolences to his family,” said Montagne.

Services will be at 10 a.m., Thursday at St. Helen Catholic Church in Orangefield. Please see obituary for more details.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.