Remembering Von Fraser, Alachua County Tax Collector
Published April 27th, 2014
GAINESVILLE - Von Fraser, who served the Alachua County's Tax Collector office for more than 30 years, passed away several weeks ago. Sunday nearly 500 members of the community gathered today to honor this public servant.
Often called the beloved tax collector by colleagues, Lavaughn Hodges Fraser-- known as von was born on February 22nd 1938. Sunday his family, friends and the community gathered to commemorate the life of this elected official. Mary Hunt, Fraser’s sister said he was a, "Well rounded man, he never drank, never smoked, never heard him curse."
Fraser began working as Alachua's assistant tax collector in 1981, where he worked until he was elected tax collector in November 2000. Relatives say Fraser never considered his job at the tax collector’s office, work. Raymond Hunt Fraser’s brother-in-law said, "His job meant to serve the public. He was a servant. If someone was in need and he could help them out he was adamant about serving the people that needed the help. He was truly a servant to the public-- to the people in Alachua County."
The top two appointed officials under him, the Chief Deputy Tax Collector and the Executive Director of Finance, who have both served with Fraser for over 13 years, will be handling the office in his absence until the next election.
Fraser was a Vietnam era veteran and was involved in many local organizations. Dick Davis the commander for the Korean War Veteran Association said, "We had a great feeling for him and I don't know anybody in our unit that didn't know him. But he was great and he did a lot for this community."
About 500 people attended Fraser's funeral service during this beautiful spring afternoon. He passed away from what his family calls an extended illness on April 17th at the age of 76. And while he will be missed his family says they're taking this time to recall all the memorable moments in Fraser's life. "He was in a class with mathematics and the instructor is putting a problem on the chalkboard and before he could finish writing it out on the chalkboard von would come up with an answer, he had it figured out in his head. So the instructor would say please refrain-- let these other students learn something," Hunt said. And they'll keep on remembering the good times.
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