Utah lawmakers pass resolution to honor late Rep. LaWanna ‘Lou’ Shurtliff

Lawmakers paid tribute to late Rep. LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff on the first day of the 2021 legislative session. (Utah Legislature)

The Utah State Legislature paid tribute to a member of the body who passed away in December with a new resolution passed on Jan. 19.

Resolution HCR7 was introduced to the body at the beginning of the session as a way to honor the service of the late Rep. LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff, who passed away in December from complications surrounding pneumonia. 

Shurtliff won reelection as the incumbent for her seat in South Ogden’s Utah House District 10 during a narrow race last year. However, following a three-week battle with pneumonia, she passed away before she could serve her term. 

The resolution was introduced by Sen. Ann Millner of District 18. As she began to speak of her colleague, the room fell silent as she praised her friend for her dedication to her constituents. 

“She cared about the constituents that she represented. And as a part of that, she was able to effectively represent her district,” Millner said.

Shurtliff was an educator for many years at Ogden High School before she took office in 1999. Millner went on to explain that as an educator, Shurtliff was a well-loved member of her community.

“Her loss is a great loss for all of us. It is a loss of somebody who is a revered educator. We won in our district because if people hadn’t heard about her as a student and loved as the student, they loved her as a parent of a student. They knew she cared about them,” Millner said.

The resolution was then read to the body, which detailed Shurtliff’s life growing up as well as her accomplishments as a member of the Legislature. 

“(Shurtliff had) a gift for developing relationships with representatives on both sides of the aisle and was loved and respected by legislators throughout the state,” the resolution said. 

As Shurtliff was a well-loved member of the legislature, the resolution passed unanimously. 

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