Friends, family, residents pay respects to Orem mayor

Mayor Jerry Washburn recognized as longest-serving in Orem history

Published: Monday, Oct. 3 2011 5:42 p.m. MDT

A young boy bows his head during the internment for Orem Mayor Jerry Christian Washburn at the Orem City Cemetery on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

OREM — Family, friends and hundreds of residents — including Gov. Gary Herbert — gathered Monday to remember and honor Mayor Jerry Washburn, who died last week after a battle with cancer.

Washburn was 67.

"Our hearts are with the family members now and the residents of Orem,” said City Councilman Carl Hernandez. "We have suffered a tremendous loss here, and I don't think we can overstate the greatness of the man."

Washburn, a longtime business owner in Orem, decided to run for mayor in 2000. He was elected and then re-elected twice, serving as mayor for the past 11 years and ranking as the longest serving mayor in the city's history.

City manager Bruce Chesnut described Washburn as a dedicated public servant.

"He will be missed in the city of Orem, as a leader and a man who had vision of what he wanted in this community,” Chesnut said.

"He served on many different commissions, not only locally here in the community, but regionally in developing transportation and amenities for this community that will better the lives of those who live here," he said.

As the funeral procession traveled to the Orem City Cemetery, police and firefighters stood at attention to show their respect.

Now, the Orem City Council will have to begin the process of filling the mayor's position in the city. State law requires that it happen within 30 days of an elected official's passing.

The vacancy will be filled, Hernandez said, but Washburn will never be replaced.

"We look forward to continuing to carry on his legacy in the city of Orem and hopefully perpetuate all the good that he did," he said.

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