January 10, 2017
County Board Chair, Sharon Corrigan - 608-333-2285
County Board

Longtime housing advocate known as a devoted public servant

The Dane County Board will pay tribute to former colleague and late community activist Judy Wilcox at the beginning of its regular meeting Thursday.

Wilcox, 76, died on December 31, 2016 after a brief illness. She had devoted her life to helping others in the Madison and Stoughton communities, especially in advancing affordable housing and addressing mental health needs.

The first woman ever elected to the Stoughton City Council, Wilcox also served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, where she chaired the Health and Human Needs Committee.

“To say Judy gave her all to make Dane County a more kind, fair and fun place for all people would be an understatement,” said Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner of Madison. “For decades, Judy was a fierce advocate for the poor, the sick, and marginalized.  Let's honor her by continuing her life's work to end poverty and homelessness, increase access to quality mental health services and push for racial equity and social justice.”

A mother of three daughters, Wilcox was known as a wonderful chef always ready to cook at fundraisers for deserving candidates. She also served in the Peace Corps from 1987 to 1989.

Her resume included serving as Chair of the Stoughton Housing Authority, Chair of the Dane County Housing Authority, Chair of the Dane County Board of Health, member of the Dane County Human Services Board, member of the Henry Vilas Zoo Commission and member of the Board of Directors of Journey Mental Health.

“Through her leadership and tremendous knowledge of all things housing, Judy helped triple the number of Dane County Housing Authority units in the last five years,” said Supervisor Mary Kolar of Madison. “Because of Judy Wilcox, more Dane County residents have a safe and secure home."

In 2001, the AIDS Network awarded Wilcox its Sterling Rose Award for her work in addressing housing issues faced by individuals with HIV and AIDS. She also worked many years for the State of Wisconsin addressing housing needs for homeless people before retiring in 2008.

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