The North Central community lost one of its most notable residents this morning as former Arizona Gov. Rose Mofford, 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep at Hospice of the Valley’s Gardiner Home, where she was moved after a fall in her Central & Maryland home on Aug. 31.
Mofford, with her highly recognizable high-piled French roll hairdo, was first elected to Secretary of State in 1978 and became governor in 1988 after Gov. Evan Mecham was impeached. She retired from public office in 1991. Born in Globe, Ariz., she lived in North Central Phoenix for more than 50 years, including when she was governor.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Governor Rose Mofford,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Gov. Mofford was an Arizona original, a gifted and groundbreaking leader, and a personal friend who swore me in when I took office as Mayor. When she became Arizona’s first female governor, her calming leadership was just what our state needed during a tumultuous time. We should all emulate her style, which always reached beyond politics to bring people together to solve problems. True to her rural Arizona roots, she was one of the most generous and thoughtful people I have ever known, and we will never forget her contributions to our state.”
Nate Hopper, owner of Sierra Bonita Grill at 7th Street and Glendale Avenue, was such a fan of “Arizona’s First Lady” that he named his restaurant’s “Mofford Muffins” after her.
“I promised Rose Mofford, whom ate here every night for almost eight years, that I would name something on the menu after her,” he said in an interview in August 2014. “They are on the brunch menu and change weekly.” Hopper added that he sent dinners to Mofford on a weekly basis.
The community’s Rose Mofford Sports Complex and Dog Park, at 9833 N. 25th Ave., also are named in her honor.
Information about services will be added as it becomes available.