Former Utah First Lady Norma Matheson passes away

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah First Lady Norma Matheson has passed away, family friends confirmed to FOX 13. She was 89.

Beloved by Utah Democrats, she was First Lady of Utah during her husband Scott Matheson’s term as governor from 1977-1985. She was active in her own right, involved in politics and even leading the Count My Vote ballot initiative.

She is the mother of former Utah congressman Jim Matheson, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Scott Matheson, Jr., Thomas Matheson and Lu Matheson.

Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt stated:

“Jackie and I acknowledge the passing of one of Utah’s greatest First Ladies. She was a stalwart Utahn making a positive difference in the lives of people all over the state. We worked closely with Norma in the preservation of Utah’s Governors Mansion and more recently as a co-chairman of the Count My Vote initiative, a bipartisan effort to increase voter participation. We celebrate her life and contributions while offering our condolences to the Matheson family. Norma Matheson was a great Utahn.”

Utah House Democrats issued statements from Rep. Patrice Arent and Minority Leader Brian King:

Rep. Arent stated:

“I grew up across the street from Norma and have known her almost my entire life. She was like my second mom. She always had time to chat and I could tell her absolutely anything. Norma was a woman of grace, warmth, and great intelligence. She truly understood people. I will never forget knocking on doors with her for my campaigns. People would run out of their homes to see Norma when they heard she was in their neighborhood. I loved Norma and will miss her very much.”

Rep. King stated:

“Whenever I wanted to hear a commonsense, down-to-earth perspective on an issue that I knew was shared by regular Utahns, I knew Norma was the person to talk to. She reflected the values of Utahns.”

Utah Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne stated:

“Norma Matheson was an extraordinary Utahn and a dear friend.  She will be remembered as a great First Lady of our state, but I will remember most her strength, her wisdom and her kindness to all.  Utah has lost one of its brightest stars. My thoughts are with her family.”

Senator Mitt Romney stated:

“Ann and I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Norma Matheson. As the First Lady of Utah, she led causes that improved the lives of many in our state. In addition to living a life of public service, she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Our prayers are with her family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson stated:

“I was saddened to receive the news that Norma Matheson passed away. Both Jeni and I thought of her as a compassionate community leader that changed Utah for the better. She will be missed by many, but her influence and example will live on through those whose lives she touched. Her family and loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.”

This is a breaking news story. Updates on FOX 13 and fox13now.com as information becomes available.

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