County Commission honors community servants

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 24, 2024

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At the May 14 meeting of the Butler County Commission, members gathered to posthumously honor three individuals who had dedicated their lives to serving the community. Bobby T. Branum, Gary Hanks and Eugene Hudson were remembered for their impactful contributions.

Commission Chairperson Rebecca Butts began the meeting with a reading of the resolutions honoring these individuals.

Bobby T. Branum, who served as Butler County Circuit Clerk for an impressive 36 years, was praised for his integrity and commitment to justice. Rebecca Butts offered heartfelt condolences and thanks to Bobby’s wife Betty and sons Bill and Barry on behalf of all citizens of Butler County.

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Bobby’s son Barry Branum expressed gratitude for the resolution in his father’s honor, highlighting Bobby’s love for Butler County and its people. 

“He served 36 years and he only ran once. Never had opposition, so it’s obvious that people liked him,” Barry said. “But I’ll tell you one reason they liked him was because he liked them. He really loved Butler County and Butler County people.”

Commissioner Jesse McWilliams echoed these sentiments.

“I’ve never heard anybody say a bad word about him in all these years. He was a name that everybody knew and respected.”

Gary Hanks, who served on the Butler County Commission for eight years, was remembered for his graciousness, humor, and dedication to the community. Chairperson Rebecca Butts recalled Gary’s lively sense of humor and his positive interactions with county employees and fellow commissioners.

Alicia Hanks-Hernandez, Gary’s daughter, reflected on her father’s love for the community. 

“You either loved him or you couldn’t stand him, one or the other,” Alicia said. “But he meant well, and he loved this community.”

Commissioner Joe Peavey remembered Gary as someone who believed in his community wholeheartedly.

“When Gary believed in something, he believed in it. He went all the way and he believed in his county. He was dedicated to this county,” Peavey said.

Eugene Hudson, Director of Hudson Funeral Services and the first black city council member elected in Greenville, was also honored for his years of service. A representative from the Hudson family accepted a plaque in Hudson”s honor, and the Commission expressed its deepest condolences to the family.