A Friday evening news release announced the passing of Marilyn Woodward, the mother of Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward.
To be with her, the mayor took a leave of absence on Thursday morning. Woodward will spend the weekend with her family, taking care of her mother’s needs. The city said in a statement, “She and her family greatly appreciate the thoughts, prayers, and support from the community.”
Woodward lost both of her parents after winning the mayoral election in 2019. Early in her term, in 2020, James Woodward, her father, passed away. Following his death, the mayor posted on social media about James and Marilyn’s 60-year marriage.
Marilyn Woodward’s terminal diagnosis was sudden, according to a statement, though the mayor has canceled at least one appearance earlier this year due to her mother’s health concerns. The 81-year-old was also hospitalized in 2021 after she suffered a stroke, according to a social media post at the time.
Mayor Woodward will remain in contact with her office during her leave of absence, but authority to execute the routine duties of the mayor’s office has been delegated to interim City Administrator Garrett Jones, according to a press release.
City spokesman Brian Coddington emphasized that Jones is not acting as mayor pro tem. If Mayor Woodward is unable to perform the duties of her office due to absence or incapacity, the City Charter requires that the City Council president, currently Lori Kinnear, would assume the duties of the mayor. Jones was only delegated with the authority to approve minor contractual items and execute similar duties, but cannot sign real estate transactions or council resolutions or ordinances.