Claude Edward Wimberley is being remembered as “a friend to the public as well as a friend to law enforcement.”

Wimberley, 82, and an Orange County Justice of the Peace for nearly three decades, died Oct. 9, 2017, at his home, surrounded by loved ones.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Rev. David Turner of Little Cypress Baptist Church and Chaplain Greg Edwards will officiate.

Burial of cremated remains will follow at 2 p.m. at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Orange. Visitation will precede the service at 10 a.m.

Born in Oil City, Louisiana, on Oct. 23, 1934, Claude was the son of Charles and Wilma Finley Wimberley.

He served his country honorably in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Madison Masonic Lodge 126, Scottish Rite Lodge Galveston, Pipefitter Local 195, El Mina Shrine Temple and the Galveston and Orange Shrine Clubs.

“In this day and time, it may not be proper to say,” former District Court Judge Pat Clark said, “but he was a damn good Democrat. He always stood behind the labor unions.”

Wimberley had a passion for golf in his younger years. He was a member of the Wednesday Lunch Bunch and enjoyed visiting with friends and former colleagues.

Wimberley loved his Lord and loved his family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

“He did enjoy a good laugh, such as [former County Judge] James Stringer,” Clark said. “He was very devoted to his wife and family. And to his job.

“I always felt like his employees really enjoyed working for him.”

Jim “Sharon” Bearden, a former JP, county attorney and district attorney in Orange County, called Wimberley “one of the fairest and most knowledgeable JPs that I have been associated with in 52 years.

“He was a friend to the public as well as a friend to law enforcement. Orange County will miss him very dearly for his humor, and [for] being a gentleman.”

Wimberley was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jerry Wimberley; and sisters, Virginia Grooms and Charlene Jones.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Pauline Wimberley — the couple was married September 5, 1954; daughter, Paula Wimberley of Orange; and son-in-law Jon Freeman; grandchildren, Aaron Vandagriff and wife Lacey; Amanda Gantt and husband Robert; Lauren Gilbert and Derek Gilbert; great-grandchildren Alexis Gannt, Bailey Vandagriff, Corbin Gantt, Riley Gilbert, Brielle Vandagriff, Chloe Mann, Logan Claude Gilbert, and Taylor Johnson; and his sister, Barbara Reisinger of Tomball.