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Georgia Lord

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Georgia Themia Lord, Mayor of Goodyear, AZ, passed away Dec. 12, 2021 at the age of 83, surrounded by family and friends. As a politician, wife, and mother, she was known for her poise and polish and a rare mix of outspokenness and diplomacy. Born April 23, 1938 in Lansing, Michigan to Greek immigrants, her early school years were spent in the rural community of Round Lake. She recalled lean years during the war and its aftermath, but they were happy times. With no running water or electricity, this is where she learned the values of hard work and fierce competition as she raced her friends swimming across the lake. As her mother’s own political career grew, Georgia often accompanied her on working trips with the Governor of Michigan, observing her mother’s direct approach to campaigns and dedication to equal voting rights in the Black community.

Later, as a young mother, Georgia turned her love of fashion into a modeling career that continued for many decades in both the United States and Europe. Even in her final days, she reminded close friends and her daughters how to apply makeup, accessorize a wardrobe, and always have lipstick handy.

As the wife of a career Air Force Officer and pilot, Georgia moved frequently and her ability to lead others was a gift that served her well anywhere she lived. When she and her husband, Ron, were assigned to Bonn, Germany to serve in the office of military attaché, Georgia’s style, charm, and diplomacy shined. The couple found themselves immersed in the intrigue of the Cold War among allied nations and those behind the iron curtain. She often recounted how these experiences served her well when negotiating on behalf of Goodyear.

Back in the States, Georgia had a successful real estate career in Virginia for 11 years. Once retired, Georgia and Ron sought out a place to call home. After visiting friends in Goodyear, they moved west in 1997 because it felt like the right place to start a new chapter. Georgia loved the wide-open skies, the pastel sunsets, and the southwestern friendliness of the Goodyear community. For a brief time, Georgia thought about restoring her real estate career, but a new project caught her attention—the development of a designated downtown for Goodyear. Local leaders quickly recognized that certain something Georgia possessed and asked her to lead the Goodyear City Center Committee. It was then, at the age of 65, her political career was born.

She was elected to the Goodyear City Council in 2005 where she served as a councilmember until 2011 when she was elected as Mayor, a seat she held until her passing. Mayor Lord served on multiple committees and councils during her tenure, including the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Executive Committee, Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Council and Transportation Policy Committee, Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors, WESTMARC Board of Directors, Abrazo West Hospital Board of Directors, and Luke West Valley Partners.

Her most recent achievement was being honored with the Inspiration in Leadership Award at WESTMARC’s 29th Annual Best of the West Awards gala in October of this year. She received many accolades over the course of her political career, including earning an honorary Doctorate of Public Administration from Franklin Pierce University in 2019, being named the 2019 Government Leader of the Year by the Arizona Capitol Times, recognition as Leadership West’s Civic Leader of the Year in 2018. She was also named as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business” by Arizona Business Magazine in 2014.

Mayor Lord had a key role in putting the final pieces in place for the Valley’s long-range transportation plan and the investment strategy for the proposed extension of Proposition 400. Her legacy will also live on through her crowning achievement, the development of the Goodyear Civic Square at GSQ which will open in the summer of 2022. The mayor was incredibly passionate about creating a heart for the city and she had been steadily working toward that goal for decades since her early days serving as chair of the City Center committee.

She was a role model to many, immensely passionate about her city, and was a dedicated public servant. Though warm and kind, she was also known for being very forthright and relished the opportunity to speak frankly. She was witty and had an incredible sense of humor. Her strength was unmatched.

Georgia is proceeded in death by her husband Ron Lord, parents Margaret and George Cotsikas, brother Nicholas J. Cotsikas. She is survived by Kimberly Lord Stewart and spouse Richard Glenn Stewart, son Shane Jeffrey Lord; daughter Cassandra Louise Lord and spouse Phillip Gerard; daughter Tiffany Lord Arnaldo and spouse Edgar (Joe) Fabila Arnaldo; James D. Archer, the father of their daughter Kimberly, as well as five grandsons, and four great grandchildren.

Her celebration of life will be held on Jan. 21, 2021 at 10:30am on the outside grounds of the Goodyear Civic Square Park at GSQ on 150th Ave (which is under construction). Please arrive early as parking will take time. The service will begin promptly at 10:30am (overflow parking is at Harkin’s Theater). In case of poor weather, the service will be held at the Goodyear Recreation Campus (420 Estrella Pkwy). Please check this website and the city social media pages on the morning of Jan. 21st if the location changes.

If you wish to watch the celebration of life ceremony online, please see the City of Goodyear Facebook page at 10:30 am, https://www.facebook.com/goodyearazgov.

 

The city of Goodyear is sponsoring the Georgia T Lord Arts, Culture and Civic Engagement Awards to honor Goodyear citizens of all ages for creative and public projects that enhance the beauty and advancement of the community. Please send donations to Mayor Georgia T Lord, Arts, Culture and Civic Awards, City of Goodyear, 190 N. Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

 

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship will be created in Mayor Lord’s name at Franklin Pierce University, which has a campus in Goodyear, AZ. Gifts can be made to Franklin Pierce University 40 University Drive, Rindge, NH 03461.  If you would like to make a gift online, stock or have any questions, please contact Julie Zahn, Vice President for University Advancement at 603.899.1159 or zahnj@franklinpierce.edu. Other legacy projects will be announced at the celebration of life ceremony and updated on the Thompson Funeral website.  Condolences can be sent to Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 N. Litchfield Rd. Goodyear, AZ, 85338. Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, AZ.

7 Comments on “Georgia Lord

  1. Goodby my dear friend of 50 years! Our family will enjoy reminiscing about all the things we did together……tennis, sail boating on the Chesapeake, raising our kids and lots of Friday Nights drinking Margaritas. We will miss you. Lyn, Hank and Todd Canterbury

  2. Mayor Georgia Lord will be deeply missed, but her legacy and grace will live on within her daughters. As the youngest of four daughters I loved reading Georgia’s saying “lipstick on, shoulders back, chest up, walk out and own that room.” Wise and simple words from a lovely woman. With Sympathy, Patricia DiRoss

  3. A true lady to the end. Spent many a day at Round Lake with Georgia, her brother Nick and Mother..
    Truly a remarkable lady.
    Georgia and I were in the same class for many years, then she moved into Lansing. Know she will be missed.
    Hugs and prayers to the family

  4. I only knew you as our “Great Mayor of Goodyear” however, we did have the “Military” connection wherein I can tell a real “Leader” by not only their choice of words, but their “actions” and your actions made Goodyear Great. I sincerely hope our new Goodyear Civic Square at GSQ is named in your Honor “The Georgia T. Lord Goodyear Civic Square at GSQ”. Godspeed to the Family 🙏🏼

  5. Kim, Shane, Cassie and Tiffany. We thought we had your email from your dads passing last year but have lost it. Just talked to your mom recently about baseball and Bonn and were shocked when we learned of her passing.
    Just wanted you each to know what wonderful parents you had and please know that each of you remain in our family prayers during this difficult time. It was truly an honor serving with both and having the opportunity to get to know their wonderful family. We pray His love and Grace be with each of you and your families.
    Tom and Betty Maxwell

  6. Georgia’s was an example of a life very well and fully lived. She was respected and admired by all who knew her and her dedication to creating a Goodyear people were happy to call home. She left a beautiful legacy to a grateful community. It was an honor to have called both Georgia and Ron our friends. Danny and I will treasure the friendship and conversations we shared and the incredible wisdom we gained through knowing the Lords. We know that our friends have been reunited in Heaven and in that Hope we look forward to the day we will meet again.

  7. Leona Stoecker, sympathy and love to the family from one mayor to another.

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