Former County Judge/Executive, business owner Donnie McWhorter dies at 74

Posted November 27, 2019 at 1:52 pm


One of Clinton County’s most recognizable business and political figures passed away early this week.

Donnie McWhorter, 74, passed away Sunday night, November 24, after an extended illness.

The owner of several businesses in Albany and Clinton County, he was also a former Clinton County Judge/Executive who was elected to and served in that capacity for three separate terms.

McWhorter became Clinton County’s first-ever County Judge/Executive after being elected to that position in the November 1977 general election and serving in that office from 1978 through 1981.

It was that first term that saw McWhorter fill the office of County Judge/Executive for the first time after the position was changed from that of County Judge.

The change saw the office in all Kentucky counties be transformed from an official who managed the business affairs of the county as well as sitting as chief executive officer of the Clinton County Fiscal Court, in addition to holding court in cases dealing with legal issues, most often traffic related offenses and other misdemeanor charges.

It was McWhorter’s first term in that office that was the first time in Kentucky the official would no longer “hold court” and administer jail sentences and fines to offenders, but would instead only be responsible for the day to day business dealings in the operation of running a county government.

McWhorter, who was 31 years of age at the time of his first election win, had defeated incumbent County Judge Delmer Marcum in the spring Republican primary of 1977 and then defeated Democrat nominee G.E. “Gib” Beaty in the November general election to win that first term.

Defeated in 1981 by Donnie Poore, McWhorter returned to the county’s highest executive office on two more occasions, serving four year terms as Clinton County Judge/Executive from 1986 through 1989, and again from 2003 through 2006.

During his career in public office, McWhorter served on a host of area and state boards and committees.

In addition to his work in the political field here, McWhorter was also a well known businessman in Albany and Clinton County during his adult life, owning and operating a host of business ventures, many of which he operated alongside his wife, Faye McWhorter.

He served in the military with a Reserve unit at well.

The many businesses he operated included an auto body shop, as well as a storage venture, McWhorter Mini Storage. He also owned a grocery store that was located near his garage/body shop on Hwy. 1590 northwest of Albany and had operated a dump truck business.

He operated a wrecker service for several years and purchased a Nazarene Church building in Albany, transforming it into a flea market style of business selling antiques and collectibles on Water Street near the Albany Police Department Headquarters.

As a collector, he specialized in John Deere and Coca Cola collections.

Funeral services for Donnie McWhorter were scheduled for Wednesday, November 27, at 1:00 p.m. at the Weldon Haddix Funeral Home.

A complete death notice for Donnie McWhorter appears this week on page X