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Flags to be lowered on Tuesday for late Utah Rep. LaWanna ‘Lou’ Shurtliff

The Ogden Democrat, who served in the House from 1999-2008 and 2018-2020, died in December.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Former Rep. Lawanna “Lou” Shurtliff, D-Ogden, who passed away Dec. 2020, is honored in the House of Representatives during the start of the 2021 legislative session at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

Flags will be lowered in Utah on Tuesday in memory of former state Rep. LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff, who died in December.

Gov. Spencer Cox ordered the lowering of the American and Utah state flags on the first day of the 2021 state legislative session for Shurtliff, an Ogden Democrat who served in the state House from 1999 to 2008 and again from 2018 to 2020.

“Rep. Shurtliff was truly a dedicated public servant,” Cox said in a statement. “We honor her long-standing service to our community and offer sincere condolences to her family and her many friends in the Legislature.”

Shurtliff died at age 85 on Dec. 30, 2020, after a three-week battle with pneumonia.

“As we commence with the work of the people, we take time to honor Lou and her contributions to the state and her dedicated service to our great citizens,” House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Layton, said in a statement.

Shurtliff, who was a teacher at Ogden High School for a number of years, was the only Democrat in the Utah Legislature from outside of Salt Lake County. When she returned to the Utah House in 2018, she became the first Democrat to win a Utah House race in Weber County since Neil Hansen in 2008.

After her death, Democrats chose Ogden physician Rosemary Lesser to fill Shurtliff’s seat in the House.

“[Shurtliff] was a great example of someone who worked across the aisle to find common ground to address challenges facing our state,” Senate President Stuart Adams said in a statement. “It was an honor to serve with her in the House.”

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