'Trailblazer' Marjorie Carroll, former Waterloo mayor, has died
KITCHENER -- Waterloo’s longest serving mayor – and the first woman elected to the position – has died at age 88.
News of Marjorie Carroll’s passing was shared on Saturday evening by several local politicians, including current Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
Saddened to hear about the passing of Waterloo's longest-serving mayor Marjorie Carroll (1977-88)— Dave Jaworsky (@DaveJaworsky) October 24, 2020
Just last year we had a wonderful conversation in Waterloo Public Square for #elderwisdom
Thank you for serving the citizens of Waterloo, Marjorie.
More information next week pic.twitter.com/GOS8tXBVzP
Saddened to learn of the passing of @CityWaterloo's longest-serving & first female Mayor, Marjorie Carroll, who served from 1977-1988. She was beloved as Mayor, where she was acclaimed 3x & truly exemplified public service. My condolences to family, friends & people of #Waterloo! pic.twitter.com/7eIcsqnxVo— Berry Vrbanovic (@berryonline) October 24, 2020
Carroll served as mayor from 1977 to 1988 and ran uncontested in three elections.
"I mean, that's unprecidented in today's day and age," said Vrbanovic. "I think it just speaks to the kind of kindness, community spirit, and commitment ot public life that she had while she was in office."
Jaworsky told CTV News that Carroll was a “trailblazer” who “broke the glass ceiling”.
“Marjorie’s style of leadership, along with her openness and accessibility, was greatly appreciated by staff,” Jaworsky added, saying Carroll was affectionately known as “Mrs. Waterloo”, often seen driving her sporty red and white car through the community.
"She was certainly an exempler for everyone to show that even in the 70s she could become mayor, one of our best mayors."
The current mayor says that Carroll continued to give back after her time in office by stressing the importance of community, volunteerism, and being engaged.
Carroll served as mayor during some significant changes in Waterloo, Jaworsky said, from the development and expansion of a number of local subdivisions, to the preservation of historically and architecturally significant buildings.
"She was strong and determined," said former Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran. "She was no nonsense. She got jobs done, she was a very strong mayor, and she knew how to bring people together.
"I want to just thank Marjorie for being that powerful woman leader and politician who opened doors for the rest of us to follow who loved this community and did so much for the benefit of this community. She was Mrs. Waterloo."
Caroll was also a nurse and raised millions of dollars for Grand River Hospital as a chair of the foundation. Her contributions were recognized with the naming of a courtyard outside Waterloo City Centre, a birthing centre at the hospital, and a nursing lecture hall at Conestoga College.
"To this day this means that anybody can grow up to become mayor or any sort of leader," said Jaworsky. "You just have to take the bull by the horns like Marjorie did."
Carroll was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013.
Her daughter Kathleen tells CTV News that, although her mother's life in public office required a great deal of sacrifice, she was still so proud of her during and after her time in office as an amazing mother, wife, and loving grandmother.
With reporting from CTV Kitchener's Jessica Smith