Early's Creel retiring after three long careers

STEVE NASH steve.nash@brownwoodbulletin.com
Wayne Creel is pictured inside Early City Hall, where he has worked for 13 years as assistant city manager. Creel is retiring Friday.

EARLY — Wayne Creel has done OK for a college dropout.

Creel has had three successful careers: banking officer, outdoor sales and city administration, and he's "loved all three." 

Creel will retire Friday from the City of Early, where he has worked for the past 13 years as assistant city administrator. A reception for Creel will be from 2-4 p.m. Friday, March 28, at Early City Hall.

Creel lives in Early with his wife, Peggy Sue. Their daughter, Alicia Stacks, is married to Brownwood Lions defensive coordinator Derrick Stacks. Creel has long been a "car guy," and he helped start the Heartland Cruisers. His current "hot rod" is a 1965 Pontiac GTO with a 468 cubic inch engine that generates 870 horsepower.

At Early City Hall recently, Creel gave a quick summary of his life story, which contained several overlapping events.

Creel was born in Winters, and graduated from Anson High School in 1965. He drove to Houston in his restored 1956 Chevrolet, planning to attend the two-year Southern Bible College. He arrived at the college on a Sunday night, where he spent the night in a hallway in the college dorm. The next morning, Creel was at First City National Bank, applying for a job.

He was hired to work in the mail room.

Creel started college, and one night he and his room-mate drove to Pasadena to visit the girl his room-mate was dating. Her name was Peggy Sue Dunn and she was living with her aunt and uncle while attending the University of Houston.

"We went in and stayed a couple of hours, I guess, and I called her up …" Creel said. They were married in 1968.

Creel finished Southern Bible College with an associate degree and began attending the University of Houston as a business major. He didn't graduate from UH, but his lack of a diploma didn't seem to hurt his banking job. Creel worked there for 12 years, getting promotions and ending up as a bank officer, supervising 88 employees.

The Creel's daughter, meanwhile, was born in Houston. And Houston was not the city where they wanted to raise a family. They moved in 1979 to Early, where Creel's father, A.L. Creel, had started Trinity Chapel.

Creel went to work for the Johnson-Ross Company as a regional sales manager covering five states, a job he held for 18 years until the plant closed following two buy-outs.

As assistant city administrator, Creel said, "I've pretty much been the code enforcement officer for the city." Creel said he tries to work with people rather than against them and found that "friendly works better than harsh."

He said he has enjoyed working with people on their projects that range from starting a business to building a backyard shop, and helping them "see their dreams fulfilled."

"Everybody I work with here is kind of like family," Creel said. "The 13 years I've been here have been fantastic."