ST. GEORGE — Dean Cox, a fixture in Washington County government for three decades who recently announced he was stepping down as a county commissioner due to health issues, has died. He was 66.
Washington County officials said Cox died Wednesday after a "hard-fought battle" with cancer. He was elected to the county commission in 2016 and again just last year but announced on June 1 he would step down from his role as a county commissioner by the end of July. St. George News reported that Cox embraced his colleagues after his announcement during an emotional meeting.
Cox served in various county roles for over 30 years. Washington County officials said Cox worked as an emergency services volunteer and founded Washington County's emergency operations center. He went on to serve as a county administrator before he was elected as a commissioner.
Gov. Spencer Cox and other prominent local and state officials offered their condolences Thursday. The governor tweeted: "My heart is broken today over the loss of my dear friend, Dean Cox. He represented the best of Washington County and our great state. We will miss him terribly."
My heart is broken today over the loss of my dear friend, Dean Cox. He represented the best of Washington County and our great state. We will miss him terribly. https://t.co/HVWpojuLU4— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) July 8, 2021
Rep. Chris Stewart added that he was "saddened" to hear about Dean Cox's death.
"Dean has been such an important part of Washington County for many years, and his loss will be felt by so many people," Stewart wrote in a Facebook post. "I pray that his wife, LaRene, and her family find love and comfort during this difficult time."
St. George Mayor Michele Randall called Dean Cox a "warm, wonderful person who served Washington County with his whole heart."
"He was a man of integrity, who had a deep love for the history and heritage of this area, and was committed to helping us meet the challenges of the future," she continued, in a statement Thursday. "My heart goes out to Dean's family, especially his wife LaRene."
Funeral details have not yet been announced.