McKinney city staff to miss longtime employee Lennox
Photo courtesy of McKinney PD - Cathy Lennox, 59, died this week after a long bout with cancer. Lennox had worked for the city of McKinney for more than two decades.
Longtime McKinney city employee Cathy Lennox, 59, passed away Tuesday night after more than a year battling cancer.
Flags will fly at half-mast at city facilities through Lennox's memorial service Saturday afternoon. Mayor Brian Loughmiller, who released a statement announcing her passing, requested the city lower the flags at the McKinney Public Safety Building and at City Hall, both places Lennox worked the past 23 years.
"It is common for the city to recognize the loss of a sworn police officer by lowering the United States flag to half-staff," Loughmiller stated. "While Cathy was a civilian employee of the police department, I believe, given her contributions to our police department and our city as a whole, it is fitting to bestow that honor on her, as well."
Lennox was hired as an executive assistant with the McKinney Police Department (MPD) on Oct. 2, 1989. She held numerous administrative roles with the department, including public safety coordinator, until 2001, when she became assistant to the city manager under former City Manager Larry Robinson.
Lennox served in that role until 2007 then completed her career where she started, as administrative manager with the police department. Asst. Police Chief Randy Roland, who had worked with Lennox since he joined MPD in August 2000, said police officers were informed of Lennox's passing Wednesday morning.
"She had been battling cancer for over a year, and it all really increased the past few months," Roland said. "We have saddened hearts, but we're thankful she's no longer suffering."
Lennox had lung cancer that had spread to her brain and was "pretty invasive," Roland said. She had been serving the city in a limited role for several months, and her condition forced her to basically stop working the past six weeks.
Before she got sick, though, Lennox was a "conduit of information" between the city manager's office and police department, Roland said. Her duties included coordinating and shepherding changes in police-related city ordinances, and administration of the police department's $22 million-a-year budget, the largest budget for a city entity.
"She had been around for so long, she had an institutional knowledge of city business," Roland said. "We had a secret weapon...because she had great insight."
Lennox also spearheaded the Blue Star and Gold Star programs, which honored McKinney residents who had family serving in the military. It was a passion of hers, Roland said, because of her son's service overseas. Lennox joined more than 60 families who have received Blue Star flags as symbols of the city's support.
"Through Cathy's efforts, the city has paid tribute to families who have lost loved ones in service to our country," Loughmiller stated in a public release Wednesday. "Cathy will be missed by all, and my prayers go out to her family at this time."
The MPD has temporarily divided Lennox's responsibilities between Roland and two other police administration members, and does not yet have a specific long-range plan for filling Lennox's absence - either professionally or personally.
"She was very caring; she would go out of her way to welcome a new employee," Roland said. "Replacing her knowledge will be almost impossible."
A memorial service for Lennox will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow funeral home, located at 2525 Central Expressway in Allen.