PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The man who served as mayor of Pass Christian during Hurricane Katrina has died. Billy McDonald passed away at his home in Pass Christian. He was just two days shy of his 74th birthday.
McDonald spent more than two decades in public office, serving first as a county supervisor for 12 years, then mayor for 10 years. He resigned as mayor of Pass Christian in May 2006 because of health concerns.
The man who succeeded him, current Mayor Chipper McDermott said he had known Billy McDonald his entire life, and calls him a "mentor" and someone he had a deep respect for.
Upon hearing of McDonald's passing Wednesday, Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway remembered the former mayor fondly.
"Different people deal with crises in different ways, but I will always remember 'Billy Mac' for his long record of public service, and especially for his sense of humor. He had a great sense of humor. and he usually had good stories about himself," Holloway said.
"He used to tell a story about when he ran for Transportation Commissioner. He said that he learned just how big the district was and how little he was known away from the Coast. He walked into a barber shop in a small rural town and told the two men in the barber shop, 'Hi, my name is Billy McDonald and I'm running for Transportation Commissioner.' They said, 'Yea, we were just laughing about that. That's a good one.'"
Mayor McDermott said flags will fly at half staff in his city Thursday in honor of Billy McDonald.
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