Hundreds honor the life of Montgomery County Commissioner Elton Dean

Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A crowd of people clapping their hands to the sound of gospel music is how the Montgomery County community chose to honor the life of longtime Commissioner Elton Dean.

Dean is remembered for his loving heart and years of service.

“Did they leave the campground better than they found it? Well, I will tell you Elton Dean left that campground better than he found it,” said former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

Dean died on June 7. He was 72 years old.

The county commission said Dean had been ill for several months prior to his death. He passed away peacefully in his sleep with his family by his side.

Dean served on the commission for multiple terms before being named chairman in 2009.

He was the first African American chairman in the county.

“Thank you for allowing us to ask him to sign one more resolution, to cut one more ribbon,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said.

Dean had a special bond with commissioner Doug Singleton. The two were good pals.

“It’s okay to tell another man you love him, and don’t wait too long folks,” Singleton said.

Speakers at the celebration made it clear that Dean was a team player, one who would reach across the aisle regardless of differences.

“You could be Republican or Democrat, Black or white, he wanted everyone to work together, to collaborate,” Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. said.

Alongside support from county officials and local mayors, Congresswoman Terri Sewell was in attendance. She explained Dean helped her learn the ropes of leadership.

“As a very young bond lawyer, he was chair of the Alabama State University Board of Trustees and gave me an opportunity when I first moved back home to represent my mom and dad’s alma mater,” she shared.

His legacy inspired many in the room, who all came to say farewell.

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