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Margaret Carpenter, Thornton’s longest-serving mayor, was remembered by city officials as a true backer of the city’s fortunes.
“It is hard to say goodbye to a good friend, a person who loved her family and this city without limitation,” former Thornton City Manager Jack Ethredge said in a written statement.
Carpenter passed away on Nov. 24, at the age of 87.
She was elected Thornton mayor in November 1979 and served as mayor for more than 20 years.
Carpenter was originally appointed to Thornton City Council in August 1973 but was elected to her first full term the following year.
Five years later, she decided to run for the Thornton mayor seat. She won and was sworn in on Jan. 14, 1980.
She was remembered for her work ensuring Thornton had adequate water rights and rallying the community’s support after a 1981 tornado.
“Mayor Carpenter was a champion for the City of Thornton for several decades,” current Mayor Heidi K. Williams said. “I give a lot of credit to her for the healthy growth of the city. While she was mayor, the city acquired land, water rights, and developed a vision for the city which we are all enjoying today. When I was a new mayor, she was always there to talk and was very supportive of me. She will be missed, but she will be remembered for the dedication and impact she had on our wonderful city.”
Carpenter was re-elected in 1983, becoming the first mayor in Thornton to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. She ultimately went on to serve three additional terms.
She represented the city on several regional, state and national groups during her 26 years on the Thornton City Council.
In 1974, she was appointed to the Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee. She served on the Colorado Water Roundtable in 1981, the Transportation Roundtable in 1986, the Colorado Growth Summit in 1995 and on the Supreme Court/Court of Appeals Nominating Committee.
She also served on the Denver Regional Council of Governments from 1992-1999 and was board chair in 1995 and 1997.
She remained in in Thornton when she left office. In July 2001, the Thornton Recreation Center was renamed in her honor, as was the park behind the center in May 2013.
A memorial service is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Northglenn Crossroads Church, 10451 Huron St.
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