Former Renton city councilwoman and traffic safety activist Nancy Mathews died in her home on March 9, 2013 in Anacortes from cancer after being diagnosed in December 2012 and surrounded by family. She was 70 years old.
Nancy was born January 6, 1943. She lived in Anacortes until attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. She moved to Renton and worked in city government as a councilwoman and was the driving force behind the expansion of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Mathews stepped down from her position in 1993.
Nancy's activism in traffic likely came from working at the Kent Police Department, and she was instrumental in the establishment of traffic safety task forces in Washington State and their success. In 1983, Nancy was appointed as Coordinator of the Kent Drinking/Driver Task Force, which was one of the first traffic safety task forces in the State of Washington.
Renton City Council President Randy Corman, who serves in the same seat once occupied by Mathews, memorialized her in comments at a Monday night public meeting at Renton City Hall.
"(She was) just a terrific, energetic woman," he said. "I'm really mourning that passing and I think it's important that we remember her contributions to the city."
When she retired in 2006, she received a Superstars of Traffic Safety for lifetime achievement award, as the Kent Drinking Driver Task Force had been in existence for 23 years and the city had no alcohol-involved teen fatalities in 10 years.
Nancy’s involvement in traffic safety enabled the continued existence of the Target Zero Task Forces and saved many lives.
Nancy’s funeral arrangements were made by Evans Funeral in Anacortes. At the family's request, contributions in Nancy’s honor can be made to the Kent Police Department Youth Board at the Kent Police Department, 220 4th Avenue South, Kent, WA 9832.
For more information on the Kent Police Department Youth Board, visit http://www.ci.kent.wa.us/content.aspx?id=1350