Contra Costa Supervisor Gayle Uilkema passed away Saturday, May 19 after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 73.
In March, Uilkema was named Lafayette’s Citizen of the Year. She served for 16 years on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and 19 years on the Lafayette City Council. She always believed that local government is the most important government.
Uilkema announced last November that she would not seek reelection, saying, “I chose this time of Thanksgiving to announce my retirement because I'm so grateful and want to give thanks for the opportunity to hold the public trust all these years."
"Gayle's service to the residents of Lafayette and Contra Costa County goes beyond the number of meetings she attended and the decisions she made," said long-time friend and Lafayette City Council member Don Tatzin in March. "What distinguishes Gayle from others in public service is the manner in which she serves. She is always accessible, puts the needs of constituents first, and trusts the judgment of citizens to know what is best for them and what they need and want from government.”
Uilkema took an active interest in a variety of projects ranging from regional emergency preparedness to public finance, and keeping seniors safe from fall risks.
She is survived by her two daughters, of whom she spoke proudly on many occasions—one is a Deputy District Attorney and the other a family practice physician.
Services will be held at Saint Perpetua’s Church, 3454 Hamlin Road, Lafayette. There will be a Rosary on Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. and a Funeral Mass on Thursday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow in St. Perpetua’s Parish Hall.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 101 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 110, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.
Flowers may be sent to Hull’s, 1139 Saranap Avenue, Walnut Creek, CA 94595.