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County’s first female elected supervisor dies

Dean Lawrence, the county’s first female elected supervisor and a devoted animal rights advocate, has died at age 97.

Described by friends as “sassy,” “elegant,” and “crusading,” Lawrence spent most of her life fighting for her beliefs and taking care of others, especially animals. She even built a tall fence around her property to house her 30 cats, most of which were rescued.

“Her main goal in life was, number one, to take care of animals, and, number two, basically be an avenue to let other women know that you can do it,” said Charlene Harvey, a close friend.



The only daughter of a Suffragette, Lawrence remembered her mother holding meetings at their home while growing up in Oakland, said Sharon Boivin, another close friend. Lawrence became the county’s first female supervisor in 1969.

She died Feb. 25, and services are pending.




For more on Lawrence’s life and impact on Nevada County, pick up Friday’s The Union.


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