COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Laura Dean Mooney, wife of College Station mayor Karl Mooney and community advocate, passed away Thursday evening.
She was also a longtime servant, volunteer and had a passion for reducing impaired driving accidents.
Laura Dean Mooney had a passion for helping others.
She was the former President and National Spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This work became her mission after her first husband was killed by a drunk driver when their child was eight months old.
"Laura helped me find my passion. She helped me find my passion for saving lives, for finding the value in others," said Mary Jo Prince, who is close family friends with the Mooneys. Prince currently serves at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service where she's the Program Coordinator for the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition.
They worked together when Laura was also at the Extension at the Watch UR BAC Program.
"Laura Mooney was a blessing to this community. She loved the community in which she lived and helped her husband serve. She was the best First Lady College Station could have," said Prince.
"Many times our paths crossed because we were on the same path to curtail impaired driving and prevent injuries, prevent fatalities and I learned so much from Laura," she said.
She's also being missed by her friends at MADD.
"You just saw someone so vibrant and vivacious and going about her many duties and with a smile on her face. And to know that she's suddenly not there it's pretty shocking," said Vicki Mercer, MADD Program Coordinator in Bryan.
"She was never lazy about anything and I really truly think that people like Laura who can get up every morning and still have that same energy to attack the same issues and fight so strongly for those issues; it's born out of a love for others," she added.
Mooney received lots of recognition including at the You're The Tops Luncheon.
She was also an Aggie Women Network Legacy Award Recipient.
"The impact that she had on saving lives her passion will live on. She might have left this earth but her passion will live forever," said Prince.
Mooney currently was working as an Associate Transportation Researcher at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
The City of College Station released the following statement on the passing of Laura Mooney:
With deep sadness and sorrow, the City of College Station shares the unexpected passing of Laura Dean Mooney, 59, wife of Mayor Karl Mooney, at their home Thursday night.
Mrs. Mooney was a tireless and selfless advocate for many worthy causes and devoted countless hours in service to her community, state, and nation.
She was especially passionate about our first responders, reducing drunken driving and improving road safety.
The heartfelt prayers and condolences of the entire city organization are with Mayor Mooney and his family.
Mayor Mooney is establishing a fund with the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley to honor his late wife. Memorial contributions should be made payable to:
CFBV - Laura Mooney Fund benefiting Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Checks should be mailed to:
Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley
P.O. Box 2622
Bryan, TX 77805-2622
Funeral services haven't been released yet.
Mrs. Mooney worked at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. They released this statement Friday:
We are shocked and saddened over the death of our colleague, Laura Mooney. Her work ethic and passion for issues related to driving safety, especially regarding impaired driving, will never be duplicated. She was instrumental in the success of numerous TTI projects, including our Ignition Interlock Training Program and our State Impaired Driving Task Force.
“Laura was a tireless and cheerful worker, and was deeply engaged in community activities,” noted Robert Wunderlich, head of TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety. “She wanted to make the world a better place, and that was so evident in the work that she did with us. We will honor her legacy by reaffirming her passion for those transportation safety issues.”
Our condolences to her family and everyone at TTI who had the pleasure of knowing her.