Back in 1953, Walter Wilcox was in high school at Stephen F. Austin when he began working for Brazos County. Two decades later, he was elected a county commissioner, and for 24 years, he served the place he'd always called home.
Thursday morning, Walter Wilcox died at St. Joseph Regional Health Center. He was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.
"He was not a big man in stature, but he cast a pretty big shadow," said Walter R. Wilcox, the commissioner's son.
His father was born in Addicks, Harris County on April 24, 1934. He lived in Brazos County his entire life and worked for Brazos County Precinct 2 from 1956 to 1962.
Wilcox was elected County Commissioner, Precinct 2 in 1971 and served as Commissioner or 24 years. He retired from Brazos County in 1994.
Brazos County went from the precinct concept to the unit system during Commissioner Wilcox's time in office. He was also instrumental in starting the dry hydrant program in this and many other counties.
Among his passions as a commissioner were his work helping create new roads and bridges in the county. He was a longtime Mason, a member of the board of directors for the Youth Livestock Show for 15 years, and a contributor of time and money to Little League teams in the county.
"He truly loved this county," said County Judge Randy Sims, who served as a commissioner with Wilcox for years, "and Walter did all he could to help the people of this county, and all he could to help the county move forward."
Funeral arrangements are pending.