Peter Griffiths, who represented Hurstpierpoint and Bolney between 2005 and 2017, died last month.
During a meeting of the full council on Friday (December 17), chairman Pete Bradbury said: “Those of us who worked with Peter will remember what an absolutely charming man and a real gentleman of the old school he was.”
Mr Griffiths served as cabinet member for schools and learning and freely offered help and advice to other councillors.
Recalling the time in 2010 when he too joined the cabinet, Mr Bradbury added: “He gave me great support as I tried to swim through those choppy waters that being a cabinet member entails.
“He really will be very sadly missed.”
As well as serving as a county councillor, Mr Griffiths was a Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common parish councillor, promoting many good causes including dementia awareness.
Paying tribute to him on the parish website, a spokesman said: “This was a cause very close to his heart and the best memorial we can offer to him is to press on with this work and seek to make our community a better place, not only for people who live with dementia, but also for the families who care for them.”
They added: “For those who had the pleasure of spending time with Peter they will recall his diplomacy, intellect, integrity and good humour.
“He was a true gentleman and kind to all he met.”