SALT LAKE CITY – A training session designed to help women get involved in politics was held Saturday, and many of those who attended spoke fondly of Becky Lockhart—who passed away Saturday due to a neurodegenerative disease.
Lockhart was formerly the Utah Speaker of the House, and she was the first woman to hold that position. Click here for more details on her life and the cause of her death.
The training session put on by Real Women Run attracted many women interested in politics as well as those already elected, and many of the attendees spoke fondly of Lockhart and the example she set.
“We loved her, we will miss her, we honor her for her service,” said Anne Burkholder of the YWCA.
Many of those who attended the Real Women Run training session have worked alongside Becky Lockhart or had hopes to do so someday.
“This morning as we began our Real Women Run training, we paused to send the warmth of our friendship and regard for Becky to her and to her family,” Burkholder said.
Lockhart was heavily involved with the group Real Women Run--at past training sessions she was a presenter, a speaker and a mentor for many.
Jen Gonnelly, co-president of the League of Women Voters in Utah, spoke about Lockhart and her legacy.
“She had a great affection for education and fought for the education of all the students in Utah,” Gonnelly said. “We mourn her untimely loss and the legacy that she left and the legacy that will not be known because she passed away far too soon.”
Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Democratic Whip in the Utah House, also shared her admiration of Lockhart.
“Speaker Lockhart was an exemplary leader,” she said. "She leaves a legacy of collaboration. She leaves a legacy of showing true commitment to community and her constituents, and provides an example to young women who might be interested in community and public service, an incredible role model for that.”
Rep. Patrice Arent, D-District 36, said the loss of Lockhart has been felt by many.
“It’s such a horrible loss for all of us and the entire state,” she said. “Becky was a true public servant who truly cared about doing the best for everyone.”
Rep. Arent worked side-by-side with Lockhart in the Utah House of Representatives for many years. She said Lockhart was more than a co-worker--she was a dear friend and a woman who genuinely cared about government and process.
“I’m a Democrat, she’s a Republican,” she said. “We didn’t agree on every issue, but she was always fair. I’ll never forget a bill that I really cared about that she didn't want, that no member of her leadership wanted to pass--but she let it go through the process because she wanted to be fair and make sure everyone had their input.”
And even in death, Lockhart continues to provide guidance for women in Utah.
“A message to all of us that we need to do as much good as we can because we never know when our time to go will be, how fragile life is,” said Karen Cronin, Mayor of Perry City.