Bessie and C.J. Huckaby have lived on the same street in Pinehurst since 1943, but they haven’t been there much lately with Bessie undergoing cancer treatment in Houston.
C.J. Huckaby said by phone from Houston the couple would be there at least through this weekend and possibly a few days after that.

Bessie, a longtime Pinehurst city councilwoman, resigned Tuesday with a letter reading in part, “I have enjoyed my years of service and everyone I’ve worked with and come in contact with on behalf of the city. Remember to hug and love one another and I’m sure that Pinehurst will stay forever the best little city in Texas. Keep me in your prayers. God is in control. I love you all.”

At Pinehurst’s regular council meeting late Tuesday, Councilman Robert “Bob” Williams said the resignation was accepted “with regret.”

Mayor T.W. Permenter asked council members to canvass residents’ suggestions of citizens to serve until Huckaby’s term expires in May, 2011.

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While many may know Bessie’s familiar smile, they may not know what she did prior to her council days or that she is originally from Louisiana.

They may also be unaware of C.J.’s own public service to the city.

“My dad was on the city council, then later he was the mayor pro-tem,” C.J. said by phone. “Then he was the street, drainage and sanitation supervisor and died in 1976. I came into the fire department around 1961 or ‘62.”

Bessie, 66, worked at the couple’s business – Pinehurst Automotive (now Young’s Automotive) – until C.J. retired from there in 1999, then for the West Orange-Cove school district as a developmental assistant.

She came onto the Pinehurst City Council around 1997 and will celebrate her 67th birthday Saturday.

A native of Lake Charles, La., she is a graduate of Lagrange High School (also in Lake Charles) and attended McNeese State University.

The couple have three children, Kevin Bourque, and Terry and Brent Huckaby.

Pinehurst Automotive was an associate dealership for Datsun from 1967-72, Indian motorcycles from ‘74-78 and after that got into fleet repair and foreign car work.

C.J., 77, also served as Pinehurst fire chief, fire marshal, mayor and mayor pro-tem.

He later served as Precinct 2 Orange County commissioner, when meetings were still in the old second-floor commissioners’ room of the courthouse.