November 9, 2017
The Third Legislative District Democrats mourn the passing of their former Chair and State Committeewoman, Joanne Austin. Ms. Austin passed away in September at the age of 90.
She is survived by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Ms. Austin was an avid and lifelong Democrat, serving as Chair of The Third Legislative District Democrats as well as representing the LD on the Washington State Democratic Central Committee as State Committeewoman. She was named the Woman of the Year by Spokane County Democrats in 2003.
Lisa Brown, former State Senator representing the 3rd LD and current candidate for Congress, called Joanne a "great loyal pro-Labor Democrat" and reminisced about interacting with Joanne in Lisa's early political career: "Joanne and other LD leaders supported another Democrat in my first race in 1992. I was perceived as the young activist who hadn’t paid my dues. After I won the primary however they became supporters and we became friends."
Dean Lynch, who served on the 3rd LD Executive Board with Joanne, remembers her recruiting him as a Precinct Committee Officer and involving him in leadership positions in the Democratic Party. "Joanne knew everyone at State meetings. Not just by sight but by name and position. It was inspiring to watch her interact with other Democratic leaders from all corners of the state."
We remember Joanne Austin for her years of service to the Democratic Party and its principles.