Susan R. Westenskow, civic leader and director of public relations for the Weber School District, died Thursday, Sept. 17, 1998, in an automobile collision in Sardine Canyon. She was 49.

A Brigham City woman, Lavon Dickamore, 59, also died in the accident."Sue Westenskow's dedication to families and education was evident in everything she did," Gov. Mike Leavitt said in a prepared statement.

"In her service as chair of the Governor's Commission for Women and Families, she brought her perspective of a great mother and an accomplished professional. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this time."

Born March 13, 1949, in Whitney, Idaho, Mrs. Westenskow came to the Weber District in September 1989. She is noted for her tireless efforts to establish business partnerships with schools and a bank of community resources for schools, benefiting thousands of children.

"Sue's death is a great loss to our district, to our community and especially to her young family," said Weber Superintendent Tim Chatelain. "She's just going to leave a real void."

Mrs. Westenskow, who received the 1992 Weber School District Outstanding Service Award, was amid striking up a safety-awareness campaign with law enforcement and agencies following the death of two young brothers in a burning shed.

"Sue was a professional and always had the best interest of children in her thinking," said Jerry Peterson, associate state superintendent of instructional services. "Sue was a wonderful person and a friend, and I'm going to miss her."

A mother of three with a bachelor's degree in education, Mrs. Westenskow also funneled her talents in community service, benefiting more than a dozen community groups and agencies.

She also served on the board of directors of the Eccles Community Art Center from 1986-1990, directed special events for St. Benedict's Foundation from 1988-89, and was president of the Junior League of Ogden in 1987-88.

"It's such a shock. Here was a great one," said Steve Mecham, who served as Weber superintendent from 1993 to 1998, from his Malibu, Calif., home. "She will be sorely missed, but we are so grateful she has set a strong model we can all follow."