This article was originally published in the Wise County Messenger on April 22, 2015.
Former Bridgeport City Administrator Brandon Emmons, 44, died suddenly in Waco last weekend.
Emmons, who served as the city administrator for Bridgeport from 2010 until his retirement in December of 2014, suffered a massive heart attack Sunday while on a boating trip with his family and fiancée Amanda Hubbell.
He died despite numerous attempts to resuscitate him, according to Bridgeport City Secretary Jesica McEachern. He leaves behind his fiancée, his parents, a sister and brother-in-law, a brother, and four nieces and nephews.
Emmons retired late last year to focus on doing humanitarian work in Africa and working with businesses in Waco. He was a proud Baylor alum and never missed an opportunity to show it.
In an interview with the Messenger before his retirement, he said his proudest moments as city administrator were four years of balanced budgets, qualified audits and improved bond ratings from Standard and Poor’s.
“We’re all just so shocked and heartbroken,” McEachern said Monday. “We just saw him last week. The entire city staff is heartbroken.”
Hubbell’s Facebook status posted shortly after Emmons died sums up how many in the community feel about his death and gives a brief explanation of what happened Sunday.
“I am at a loss,” the status begins. “My heart is shattered. My sweet Bear has left me. As many of you know, Brandon Emmons passed away today, 30 days before we were to leave for Africa to be married. We had taken the boat out for its first run of the season. We began taking on water and headed back to the dock. We got the boat trailered, and Brandon went down. His heart gave out. We performed CPR immediately, and EMS was there within 5 minutes. We just couldn’t save him. Pray for us as we blunder through the next hours, days, weeks trying to do whatever I am supposed to do now. Now, without my sweet Brandon.
“Brandon is my real life fairytale. He was here today and when I wake up tomorrow, he won’t be here again today. Ever.”
Emmons’ funeral is 11 a.m. Friday, April 24, at the Callaway-Allee Memorial Funeral Home in Crockett with burial to follow at Whitehead Cemetery. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Emmons’ family said memorial donations may be made to the Dallas Safari Club Frontline Foundation, which provides financial relief to professional hunters and their assistants, trackers and skinners who are killed or seriously injured in the course of providing professional hunting services.
Emmons was an avid hunter who went on numerous exotic hunting trips while dong charity work in Africa. Learn more about the cause at dscfrontlinefoundation.org.