Mecklenburg County Commissioner Neil Cooksey dies of pancreatic cancer



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The community is mourning the loss of a Mecklenburg County commissioner.

Neil Cooksey died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer.

Even after his diagnosis and a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Cooksey continued to give back.

Commissioner Jennifer Roberts said when making critical decisions, he always considered all sides.

"I knew he was listening, and that he wasn't counting us out," Roberts said. "He really listened and took things into account without any preconceived notion of a party."

Cooksey worked through his illness, surprising many by attending a July commission meeting.

"We will greatly miss Neil Cooksey," said Mayor Anthony Foxx. "He was a tireless public servant, a great husband and father, and someone who battled for a long time and he stayed in the fight."

An attorney, Cooksey joined the commission in 2008, representing District 5.

He vowed to cut the cost of government while making it more effective.

Last year, he announced he would not seek re-election so he could spend more time focused on his faith, his family and his job.

The community will treasure his legacy.

"His critical eye, observant eye, his concern for doing the right thing, protecting tax payers and those things that make our community great, like education," Roberts said.

Cooksey is survived by his wife, Allyson, and children, Charlie, Anna and Abigail. Cooksey's funeral will be open to the public. It will be 3 p.m. Saturday at Carmel Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Visitation will follow.