Hundreds of people gathered at the Goodyear Civic Square on January 21 for the celebration of Georgia Lord’s life to say a final goodbye and share fond memories of the mayor.
Participants wore yellow ribbons, in honor of Lord’s favorite color. Speakers included the Lord family, Governor Doug Ducey, Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo and City Council members, Representative Joanne Osborne and regional leaders.
“As we gather here today, I am struck by the number of people Mayor Georgia Lord has touched in his life – family members, elected officials, community leaders,” Ducey said. “She made an impact in every circle she was in, and Arizona won’t be the same without her.”
Ducey said Lord had an impact across the state.
“Arizona will be deeply missed by Georgia Lord,” Ducey said. “Our state simply wouldn’t be what it is today without her and all of her contributions. May she rest in peace.”
The ceremony took place at Goodyear Civic Square, a place she helped create. The new library in Goodyear Civic Square, which opens this summer, will be named in honor of the mayor.
“She was passionate about education and a strong advocate for lifelong learning,” Pizzillo said. “Literacy was especially important to her, and she was so excited about the opportunities the library being built here in Civic Square would provide generations of Goodyear residents. So, the board and I are proud to announce that we recently voted unanimously to dedicate this library to the memory of Georgia as an enduring legacy and a testament to her tremendous contributions to our community.
Lord’s family revealed two legacy projects, including a scholarship in his name to Franklin Pierce University. Lord was instrumental in bringing Franklin Pierce University into Goodyear and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2019.
The family also announced the Georgia T. Lord Arts, Culture and Civic Engagement Awards. Residents can showcase their artistic talents and creativity through various city projects.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of love,” Lord’s daughter Kim Stewart said. “She cared deeply about this town. She loved working to make Goodyear home to everyone and a home for generations to come. There will never be another Georgia T. Lord, but we know there are others in this community who could be that next great leader if given the right chance, and that’s why our family works on legacy projects.
Stewart called her mother’s move to Goodyear magical, saying that, for Lord, it was “love at first sight”.
Lord’s career in local government began when she was elected to Goodyear City Council in 2005. She became the town’s first female mayor in 2011 at the age of 73.
She defended Goodyear and loved being part of the military community. Her late husband, Colonel Ronald Lord, retired from the US Air Force after serving 30 years.
As mayor, she helped Luke Air Force Base become an economic engine for the West Valley. She led the Luke Forward campaign, which successfully launched the F-35 training program. She recently served on the Luke West Valley Council and West Valley Partners.
She has received numerous accolades during her political career, including the Inspiration in Leadership Award at WESTMARC’s 29th Annual Best of the West Awards gala in October.
Lord died surrounded by her family on December 12 at the age of 83.