OGDEN, Utah, Dec. 31, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Rep. LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff has died after a three-week battle with pneumonia. She was 85.
Shurtliff, Weber County’s only Democrat, had been re-elected on Nov. 3 to represent House District 10. She became ill on Dec. 6, and was hospitalized. She died on Wednesday.
On Thursday, her family shared details on Facebook:
“It is with heavy hearts we regret to announce the passing of our beloved, LaWanna ‘Lou’ Shurtliff. She was first and foremost a loving mother, committed grandmother, and generous great-grandmother. Her absence is already deeply felt by our family and her presence will be sorely missed throughout the community.
“After a three week battle with infection, it was ultimately determined that Lou recovering and coming off of ventilatory support was not possible. In accordance with her wishes, the decision was made to let her pass peacefully. She was surrounded by her children, brothers, and son-in-law.
“We would like to thank the ICU team at McKay Dee Hospital that worked tirelessly throughout her hospitalization. Each member’s commitment to her care was both deeply felt and appreciated by our family. Funeral plans and obituary are forthcoming.”
Gov. Gary Herbert tweeted a message regarding Shurtiff’s death on Wednesday night:
Gov.-elect Spencer Cox and Rep. Patrice Arent also shared thoughts:
This is the saddest of news. Rep. Shurtliff was beloved by all who knew and worked with her. She will be terribly missed. Our hearts go out to her family at this difficult time. https://t.co/m1ws9WxANT
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) December 31, 2020
The Utah House Democratic Caucus issued this statement on Shurtliff’s death:
“Rep. Lou Shurtliff will long be remembered as an extraordinary teacher and legislator who cared deeply about people and public service.
“Lou wanted everyone to have a fair shot. She wanted adults experiencing troubles with drugs and alcohol to have equitable consideration in the courts. And she was a strong, persistent voice for the opportunity of kindergarten for all children.
“Lou was a staunch advocate for educators. As a lawmaker, she brought not only her trusted experience as a teacher, but also her voice of reason, wisdom, warmth, and compassion. She was a valued mentor for many of her legislative colleagues.
“Lou cared deeply about the wellbeing of her entire Ogden community. After serving for 10 years in the House from 1999 to 2008, her constituents called her back in 2018. She brought clarity on basic values and institutional knowledge to our caucus. We will always admire her sharp mind and intellect as well as a warm humility about herself and her accomplishments.
“We wish to extend our love and condolences to her family.”
Shurtliff served in the Utah House from Jan. 1, 1999-Dec. 31, 2008; and since Jan. 1, 2019.