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Commission remembers fallen trustee

Thursday, Lawrence County Commissioners paid tribute to a fellow elected official and friend whose life was cut short.

Decatur Township Trustee Ralph Cox died after collapsing while he and his brother and fellow trustee Garold Cox were doing road work on a township road last Saturday. According to members of his family, he died of a heart attack. He was 43 years old.

"Ralph Cox was a dedicated servant," Commissioner Jason Stephens said. "He was working on a Saturday on a township road, and he said, 'Let's get this road finished.'

"You knew where you stood with Ralph, but he wasn't mean about it. Trustees don't make much money and they deal with late-night phone calls."

Commission Vice President Doug Malone echoed Stephens’ sentiments.

"I was a trustee for 11 years, and I would go out in big snowstorms with 14-15 inches of snow with a 70-year-old trustee," Malone said. "I understand that sometimes people get frustrated, but trustees are working on 25-30 miles of road with limited budgets. They can only do so much.

"That is the grassroots of government. These are government officials who are willing to get in there and get their hands dirty."