(Submitted file photo)
Tune was appointed to succeed her husband, George Tune, in a seventh district seat on the commission following George Tune's death in 1987, and voters continued to re-elect her to the seat. She had already filed to run for re-election this year in the August general election.
"Joyce was a very honest, very dependable county commissioner," said County Mayor Eugene Ray. Ray was a seventh district commissioner himself at the time of George Tune's passing and recommended Joyce Tune for appointment to the seat.
"She was very outspoken in the things that she supported," said Ray. "She was a very good friend of mine and she will really be missed."
Joyce Tune was a long-time board member of Bedford County Medical Center and Nursing Home when it was under county ownership. She resisted the sale of the hospital to Brentwood-based Community Health Systems and was one of three commissioners to vote against the sale in June 2005. The hospital is now known as Heritage Medical Center. She was also a vocal opponent of proposals to sell Bedford County Nursing Home. The nursing home was leased last year to Johnson City-based Care Centers Management Consultants and now operates as Christian Care Center of Bedford County, and again Tune was one of three commissioners voting against the lease. In both cases, Tune claimed that county control was needed to protect those who had no other health care options and said she worried that private owners would leave some without affordable care.
"She supported health care very much," said Ray.
Tune served for many years on the commission's law enforcement and workhouse committee.
Tune, like her husband before her, performed many civil marriage ceremonies as a county commissioner, dating back to the days when the Tunes owned a service station on North Main Street and were easy for couples to find on short notice. Tune reported that she had married more than 1,000 couples.
Tune, fellow incumbent Tony Barrett and challenger Denise Graham had all qualified to run for the two seventh district commission seats in the August election. Because enough candidates remain in the race to fill the two seats, it's not clear whether the qualifying process will be re-opened, said Bedford County Administrator of Elections Summer Leverette. Leverette said state officials are discussing the issue and she expects to hear by Wednesday whether or not qualifying will be re-opened and whether Tune's name will appear on the ballot.
Tune had worked for Musgrave Pencil Company after closing the service station.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Feldhaus Memorial Chapel.