Mary Adelaide Lundby

"Mary understood that people always come before ideology.”
— Brent Oleson, 2009

 


Mary Adelaide Lundby, a long time public servant and forthright leader, stood for all Iowans. Lundy served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1986-1994 and the Iowa Senate from 1995-2009. Unfailingly loyal to friends and colleagues, she was willing to speak eloquently for causes and for people she believed in, without regard to the consequences, personal or political. Known as a formidable competitor, she was an advocate for issues concerning children, families, the environment, and conservation. As a Senator, she supported the REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) program, sometimes nearly single handedly securing funds for projects vital to the support of state parks and other natural resources that allowed Iowans to appreciate their environment.  She was an independent thinker around education issues and was considered by some the one vote that defeated the possible constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. On the occasion of that vote, Lundy said she would never vote to put discrimination into the Iowa constitution and spoke passionately about fair treatment. She was also a talented whistler and could be heard in the Chambers whistling a tune as she worked at her desk.  Lundby was tireless in communicating with her constituents, many of whom received annual birthday or anniversary remembrances from their Senator. She was the first woman to be elected Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Iowa House of Representatives and was the first woman Majority Leader and Minority Leader in the Iowa Senate. Lundby was born on February 2, 1948 in Carroll and died January 17, 2009 after a three-year battle with cancer.