Elton Dean, chairman of the Montgomery County Commission since 2009, passed away Tuesday after a long battle with illness, according to a statement from the county commission. He was 72 years old.
In a statement released Tuesday, officials said that Dean passed “peacefully with his family at his side” Tuesday morning.
First elected to the Commission in 2000, Dean would later be re-elected five consecutive times, the final time being in 2020, for his position as District 2 commissioner. Dean was elected vice-chairman of the Montgomery County Commission in November 2004 and later Chairmen in March of 2009, being the first African American to hold the position in Montgomery County.
“With the passing of a leader like Elton N. Dean, Sr., our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a statement following Dean’s passing on Tuesday. “As the first Black chairman of the Montgomery County Commission, he was always sensitive to the needs of the Westside district that he represented as well the needs of our entire county. As a friend and advisor to those who have held the Mayor’s Office over the last two decades and as a dedicated public servant himself, Chairman Dean warrants so much more recognition for the work he has done on behalf of our community.”
Reed continued by highlighting the “countless projects and initiatives that could not have happened without his leadership and support” and noted that his legacy would leave “a distinct impression” over District 2 in the years to come.
“I remain grateful to his family for sharing him with us, and we will support them during this time of loss as Chairman Dean did for so many others,” Reed said.
Dean was also a former Board Chairman of the Alabama State Board of Trustees, having graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business & Economics in 1971.
“Chairman Dean was a beloved member of Hornet Nation who was a great contributor to this University, particularly as the leader of the Board of Trustees during a period of unprecedented growth,” said ASU President Quinton T. Ross in a statement Tuesday. “Chairman Dean deeply loved his alma mater and was committed to the advancement of its mission and vision. He truly embodied the best of that Ole ‘Bama State Spirit in all of his professional and personal achievements. His presence will be missed, but his legacy will live forever at Alabama State University.”
A memorial service for Dean has, as of Tuesday, yet to be announced.