SAN ANTONIO - Elected officials and other prominent San Antonians reacted to the death of former mayor Lila Cockrell on Thursday with tributes.
Cockrell was the first woman to serve as mayor of the Alamo City, serving as elected mayor from 1975 to 1981 and 1989 to 1991.
Judge Monique Diaz of the 150th District Court of Bexar County said, "It is thanks to you being the 1st that so many others followed."
"Thank you for your continued devotion to our city, and for forming the 1st Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, allowing me to serve on it 49 years later. Rest In Peace Mayor Cockrell."
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Cockrell, who was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1984, "set a tone that was hard for others to match."
"We all can be thankful for the way that she positioned the city when she became mayor," Wolff said. Wolff also remembered Cockrell for not having a "vindictive spirit that a lot of politicians have."
City Council member Shirley Gonzales called Cockrell a trailblazer.
"As the first woman Mayor of our city and the first female Chair of the CPS Energy Board of Directors she opened the door of possibilities to many of us who have followed her lead in public service. Her warm and congenial demeanor belied a tough negotiator and that example still resonates in City Hall," she said.
Congressman Joaquin Castro said Cockrell "was a towering beacon in San Antonio, a woman who defined what it is and what it means to devote yourself to the service of others. She is an inspiration to all of us. My condolences to her family and loved ones. Our city will miss her."
Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, echoed the sentiment, saying Cockrell "was a trailblazer and a bridge-builder. The contributions she made to San Antonio reached every corner of our city and inspired so many of us. She will be missed."
Congressman Lloyd Doggett said, "Saluting Lila Cockrell, a long life, well lived, a true pioneer. Her work as the city's first female Mayor, and her continued leadership at the local level, exemplified what it means to be a public servant, all while breaking barriers for others to follow."
Mayor Ron Nirenberg said that Cockrell was "a great San Antonian... If there were a Mount Rushmore for our city, Lila Cockrell would be on it."
Mary Jane Verette, CEO and president of the San Antonio Parks Foundation, called Cockrell a "champion of San Antonio public parks." Cockrell served as the president of the San Antonio Parks Foundation from 1998 until she retired in 2013.
She was "a strong leader who loved our commnity and served as a role model for future generations," Verette said.
Below are more tributes to Cockrell via social media:
Honoring the memory of a trailblazer and tremendous leader- who always remained a lady- Lila Cockrell! Thank you for leading our city into a new era of inclusion. We are better because of you! @AlamoAreaCOG @COSAGOV @TriDelta — Diane D. Rath (@AACOGCEO) August 29, 2019
Please join us in honoring the legacy of Former Mayor Lila Cockrell, who passed away at the age of 97. She served as the first female Mayor of San Antonio and devoted her life to public service. Thank you for your commitment to our community, Mayor Cockrell. pic.twitter.com/xQ9vXkpQOa — City of San Antonio (@COSAGOV) August 29, 2019
San Antonio's 1st female mayor, the remarkable Lila Cockrell, has died at age 97. Lila was a Life Trustee of SAMA & a strong advocate of the arts. She christened SAMA by smashing a bottle of beer against the façade. Thank you for your commitment. You will be missed. #lilacockrell pic.twitter.com/HT7B3YYGAf — San Antonio Museum of Art (@SAMAart) August 29, 2019
Former Mayor Lila Cockrell was a true servant leader and a role model for all who followed in her footsteps. Thank you, Lila, for your endless service to San Antonio. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/rq2zmxWXEw — Clayton Perry (@district10perry) August 29, 2019
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Lila Cockrell. She devoted her life to public service, leaving a wake of opportunity and inspiration in her path. We lost a truly inspiring woman today and she will be missed. https://t.co/BLjwtYQsC6 pic.twitter.com/8WctxhYbG3 — CM John Courage - D9 (@JohnCourageD9) August 29, 2019
.@Judge_wolff just announced in commissioners court that iconic former mayor of SA #LilaCockrell passed away. Our city wouldn't be the same today without her contributions. #RIP — Justin Rodriguez (@CommishJRod) August 29, 2019
We love you Lila! 💔 The lovely Lila Cockrell, the first female mayor of San Antonio and the first woman to lead a major U.S. city has died at age 97. 💔 #lilacockrell pic.twitter.com/dDv4DtgBLo — Trinity Univ Press (@tupress) August 29, 2019
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