Jean Burnham was first elected in 1983 as a councillor for the Warnham ward. By the time she stepped down in 2007, it had become Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham after boundary changes.
Mrs Burnham first served as the council chairman from1992 to 1993 and performed the role again in 2005-6. She became the council’s Cabinet Member for housing and health when the Cabinet system was adopted in 2001.
A council spokesman said: “She worked tirelessly for her ward constituents and is remembered affectionately by members and staff.”