Brenda Fox, Butler County Collector, 1951-2014
Many family members, friends, and admirers were saddened Sunday to learn of the passing of Brenda Fox, 62, a woman who has been the Butler County Collector since 1999.
Marion Tibbs, Butler County Assessor, noted that he would be missing Fox not only professionally, but also personally.
“She was just a great person. One of the most dependable people I’ve ever known,” commented Tibbs. Though she won her office back in 1998 as a Republican, she was always known as a team player and a problem-solver.
“It’s not uncommon for County Assessors and County Collectors to sometimes butt heads,” explained Tibbs. “But she was not like that. She always worked to solve a problem.
Fox was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year ago, yet Tibbs recalls that she never lost her love of life, and her love for family and friends.
She was married to Charlie Fox, who is a retired Poplar Bluff police dispatcher. He notes they were very close and took care of one another during times of ill health for them both. The Foxes have two adult children, Kristy Fox Smith, and Jerry Fox.
The county collector’s office is an elected post with a four-year term. The Collector is responsible for collecting current and delinquent property taxes within the county, and is also responsible for the accounting and distribution of collections to tax entities such as schools, senior citizens and fire districts. The collector also collects merchant license fees.
As with any position of that kind of responsibility, sometimes there would be differences of opinion with patrons. Yet Tibbs says Fox always maintained a friendly demeanor in working with co-workers and patrons.
“She was just such a great person. And I will miss her terribly both professionally and personally,” concluded Tibbs.
Many friends and colleagues took to Facebook to express their condolensces to the family and their fond memories of Fox.
Michelle Hawn DeGaris wrote that Fox was “a beautiful woman in every way who will be missed by many.”
Nita Wyrick Buchanan added, “Brenda Fox was such a sweet lady. She always had a smile on her face for her co-workers, friends, and customers.”
“She was a Christian her whole life,” commented niece Carolyn Summerlott.
Summerlott recalled that Brenda had been from a family ten children. She was the youngest daughter.
Brenda’s mother, Liddie Wilkerson, though heartbroken over the loss of Brenda, recalled that Brenda was one of those people who was always happy. “She was always jolly, and always helping other people,” she said.
Brenda’s sister, Ruby Porch, commented that having a job at the county courthouse was perfect for Brenda. “Even in the family, she was always the one running the show,” she laughed. “That was just her personality.”
Fox was a long-time Butler County resident, and attended Poplar Bluff High School.
Fox died Sunday at the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. She was born November 22, 1951 in Poplar Bluff. She attended Grace Christian Fellowship and Midland Church.
Brenda loved her job, and loved her family. Her husband, Charlie Fox, survives, along with their children Jerry Dale Fox and wife, Paula; and Kristy Dawn Smith and her husband, Matt. Also surviving are her mother, Liddie Summerlott Wilkerson, two sisters, Mary Vinson and Ruby Porch, and Ricky and Kenny Brown. Eight grandchildren survive. She was preceded in death by her father, John Summerlott, three sisters, Christine McIrvin, Patricia Taylor, and Justine Brown; as well as two brothers, Ronnie and Junior Summerlott.
Visitation will begin at 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 6 at Fowler-Sullivan Funeral Home in Poplar Bluff, followed by funeral services at 2 p.m. The Rev. Brian Sharp, Pastor Paul White, and Bishop Ron Webb will officiate. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens.