Former state legislator and local business owner Tom Essex of Columbus has passed away. Mayor Fred Armstrong remembers the Essex family as an integral part of the Columbus community.
“The Essex family’s really the beginning of a new generation I guess for Columbus,” he said. “They’re icons and Tom was the head icon, a great family, Tom and Betty Essex were a great team and we’re gonna miss both of them for a long, long time but they’ve certainly helped build a solid foundation.”
Essex served in the House of Representatives from 1961 to 1963 and Armstrong says continued to be politically active throughout his life in the state of Indiana.
“He was just a great asset to the state of Indiana,” Armstrong said. “He wanted to see Indiana be the best state that it could be and you know he put politics aside actually and worked for the state and just did a miraculous job.”
Essex also worked for 30 years as vice president of Sap’s Bakery in Columbus with his brother. The most popular menu item is the Sap’s Donut, a yeast donut that continues to be served today. Former Republican state senator Bob Garton, who also lives in Columbus, says the donuts from the business are a must-try.
“I love their donuts,” he said. “If you’ve never had one you miss something in life.”
Funeral service arrangements are still pending at Barkes, Weaver, and Glick Funeral Home.