Alachua County Tax Collector LaVaughn Fraser died Thursday morning after an extended illness.
Fraser, 76, had served as the tax collector since 2000 after spending about two decades as the assistant tax collector.
John Power, chief deputy tax collector, said Fraser, who insisted on being called “Von” by all of his colleagues, enjoyed serving the residents of Alachua County for the past 33 years.
“He loved people, and people loved him,” Power said. “He was really admired throughout the community.”
Before serving in public office, Fraser served a tour of duty in the U.S. Army as a non-commissioned officer, according to a news release.
He received his degree in accounting from UF in 1969 and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Florida in 1992.
Power said Fraser’s main focus when working was customer service.
“(He) enjoyed serving the public and instilled that in his staff. We miss him, but the best way we can honor him is to continue serving the public,” Power said. “He had great appeal throughout the community. You mention his name, and people would have a big smile.”
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 4/18/2014 under the headline "Long-serving county tax collector dies"]