Local government officials from Beloit police officers to Rock County Board members are remembering Terry Fell as the quintessential public servant.
Fell, a former Beloit police chief, Rock County sheriff’s chief deputy and longtime Rock County Board member, died Saturday at age 76.
The Beloit Police Department remembered Fell in a post on its Facebook page.
“Terry was a lifelong public servant within our Beloit and Rock County communities, serving in a variety of capacities, and will be missed by many. His legacy of community service will live on in his accomplishments and devotion to duty,” the post reads.
Fell started his law enforcement career as a deputy with the Rock County Sheriff’s Office in 1966. He served as undersheriff from 1977 to 1981 and was chief deputy from 1982 to 1991.
Before being promoted at the sheriff’s office, however, Fell got a taste of small-town policing. He worked as a patrol officer and investigator for the Beloit Police Department and was Clinton’s police chief for a year.
He returned to the Beloit department as police chief from 1991 to 1996.
He then moved on to Blackhawk Technical College, where he was the law enforcement coordinator from 1996 to 2005.
Fell was elected to the Rock County Board in 2011 and represented District 14 until last April.
County board Chairwoman Kara Purviance said she admired Fell’s “experience, thoughtfulness and humor.”
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Terry Fell,” she said. “Supervisor Fell had already served on the county board for some time before I was first elected in 2016. I was extremely fortunate to have served with Terry on both the health services and public safety and justice committees. I will remember Terry as a man of few words that left a huge impact on those who were fortunate enough to have served with him.”
Rock County Administrator Josh Smith said Fell was humble but “not afraid to make the tough decisions.”
“He was one of those people who was involved in so much over the years you just continually were learning about all the things he had accomplished,” Smith said.
“That was consistent with Terry’s low-key approach, particularly on the county board, where he would work to make improvements but wouldn’t be the one to want to take credit.”