TALLADEGA -- Talladega City Manager Beth Cheeks passed away unexpectedly Friday night, according to the City Clerk’s Office.
According to her obituary, Cheeks, 60, passed away Nov. 20 at Citizens Brookwood Baptist Medical Center.
“Beth was well-known in the Talladega community as she served as Talladega city clerk for many years before being appointed as city manager of Talladega in September 2018,” her obituary says. “She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota (on) Jan. 30, 1960, as the third of six children born to Richard M. Barker and Barbara Ann Hibbs. She attended public school in both Virginia and Minnesota and graduated from Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, (Minnesota).
“She received her (Bachelor of Arts) degree in English from Virginia Tech, and her master’s in library science from the University of Alabama; she also worked at the Alabama School for the Deaf and Blind for several years before her appointment as Talladega City Clerk.”
She is described in the obituary as “a loving and patient daughter, sister, wife, mother and aunt who will be deeply missed by all who knew her and were touched by her generous nature and kind spirit.”
Cheeks was working as city clerk when she was tapped to serve as interim city manager by the previous council in July 2018. She was appointed to the manager position permanently in September of that year. She was the eighth person to hold the city manager position since it was created by the state Legislature in 2004.
City Councilman Dr. Horace Patterson said Saturday that Cheeks “had a long, storied history in our city. Upon her arrival in our community, she worked hard to become a part of that community. She will be sorely missed, and our prayers go out to her family and those who loved her dearly.”
Council President Trae Williams added that Cheeks was “aways super-polite. She had a very peaceful demeanor. She called me just last week to congratulate me on the birth of my son and to let me know she was praying for the health of my wife and baby. It’s heartbreaking. I feel especially sad for her son, Andrew.”
Williams added, “Even when we didn’t agree, even when we were grilling her, she was always very respectful, very courteous and nice. It’s a truly tragic loss, so unexpected and so difficult to fathom. Our prayers go out to her family.”
Her family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, at Usrey Funeral Home Chapel in Talladega.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity P.O. Box 2595 Sylacauga, AL.