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Georgia Lord, longtime mayor of Goodyear, dead at 83

Georgia Lord, mayor of Goodyear for the last decade, has died.

The city of Goodyear confirmed Lord's death. In a statement, city officials said she died Sunday afternoon at her home surrounded by family. Lord had recently broken her hip in a fall. Her health declined after that.

She was 83.

Lord was a realtor, the matriarch of a military family living abroad during the Cold War, and a cheerleader for Michigan State University.

Officials described her as a powerful advocate for the city. She moved there in 1997 but didn't get involved in local politics for several years. In 2005, Lord won a seat on the Goodyear City Council that year. In 2011, she was elected mayor and held the position until her death.

Vice Mayor Brannon Hampton fought back tears during a news conference to honor Lord on Monday.

"So yeah, she was a great mentor as well. And just really committed to the city," said Hampton.

“I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. She was such a classy woman and a joy to be around, I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with her over the years," U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, who represents Arizona's 8th Congressional District, said in a statement Monday.

One of her last achievements was the development of Goodyear Civic Square at GSQ, a community gathering site set to open next year. The development will include a city hall, library and space for festivals and concerts.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered all state flags lowered to half-staff Monday in her honor. He called Lord “an inspiring woman and a proven leader who cared deeply about the city of Goodyear.”

Lord was preceded in death by her husband Ronald. She is survived by four children, four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

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Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.