Booth Gardner, who was Pierce County’s first county executive and went on to become a two-term governor of Washington, died last Friday.
Gardner was 76 and had suffered from Parkinson’s disease in his later years. Family members said he died at his home in Tacoma of complications from the illness.
He was governor from 1984 to 1992. Before that, he was the first county executive following Pierce County’s switch in the 1970s to a home rule form of government, which was spurred by previous corruption in county government.
“He faced an extraordinary task in setting up the new governance during tumultuous times in our community,” said current County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Those skills served him and the citizens of Washington very well as he moved to the governor’s office.”
A spokesman for Gardner’s family said the funeral for Gardner will be private, but a public memorial is scheduled for March 30 at 11 a.m. at the University of Puget Sound’s Memorial Fieldhouse.