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Big Country EC News

Eddy McIlwain’s Legacy Lives On

BCEC lineman carries on family tradition

In December 2020, the McIlwain and Big Country Electric Cooperative families said “see you later” to our beloved Eddy Mc.

Eddy McIlwain loved being a lineman for Big Country EC and being a cowboy, and he instilled his work ethic and love of livestock into his children and many others in the show barn. His simple, humble ways of teaching were cloaked in hard work that began early in the day and ended late at night. No matter how tired he was or how bad he felt as his battle with cancer came to an end, Eddy always had a way of pitching in.

Cedar McIlwain

Cedar McIlwain presents a scholarship bearing his father’s name.

That pitch-in legacy is what Riley Barnett and others in the Fisher County Junior Livestock Association sought to honor and instill in future generations by creating the Eddy McIlwain Memorial Scholarship. Established in 2021, the $250 scholarship is awarded to two Fisher County graduating senior livestock exhibitors who demonstrate the work ethic of the award’s namesake. Eddy’s wife, Sabrina, and daughter, Cequin, presented the scholarships to recipients in 2021 and 2022.

This year, we were proud to see the family’s legacy live on twofold. Eddy’s son, Cedar McIlwain—now a lineman apprentice with BCEC—presented the scholarship bearing his father’s name while wearing the same logo on his chest and cap that his father wore as a BCEC lineman. We can’t and won’t take credit for the moment, but we smile because we know a proud cowboy saw it from the best seat in the arena.