Vancouver Deputy City Manager dies suddenly

Lenda Crawford suffered a severe head injury during a fall in her apartment two weeks ago

VANCOUVER — UPDATE 4/3/2020 This story has been updated to reflect further information about Crawford’s cause of death.

Sad news out of Vancouver city government on Thursday.

Assistant City Manager Lenda Crawford passed away due to injuries suffered in a fall two weeks ago.

Lenda Crawford, deputy city manager for Vancouver, passed away on Thursday. The cause of her death was not immediately available. Photo courtesy City of Vancouver
Lenda Crawford, deputy city manager for Vancouver, passed away on Thursday. The cause of her death was not immediately available. Photo courtesy City of Vancouver

“Lenda’s passing is a major personal and professional loss for me, the leadership team and the City organization as a whole,” wrote City Manager Eric Holmes in an email sent to city staff. “The fact that it happened so suddenly and in the midst of our emergency response to the pandemic makes it even more difficult to process.”

Holmes said Crawford suffered a severe head injury after an accidental fall at her apartment two weeks ago. She had been hospitalized in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“Treatment of this injury complicated underlying medical conditions, and after two weeks of intensive care Lenda passed,” Holmes wrote.

Crawford, 61, was hired to replace Dave Mercier in 2016 after Mercier retired.

Before coming to Vancouver, she served as finance director for the city of Redmond, Washington, deputy director of the Seattle Department of Transportation and Deputy County Executive for Snohomish County. In addition, Lenda has served as a nonprofit leader with Seattle’s Thrive by Five.

“We are heartbroken to share this news,” wrote Vancouver city spokesperson Carol Bua in an email to Clark County Today. “It is devastating and a big loss for all of us here at the City.”

Crawford’s duties with the city included many elements of internal operations, such as Human Resources, Information Technology, and risk management.

Holmes said the current pandemic and Stay Home order makes it unclear when or if a memorial for Crawford will be held.

“I hope you will join me in sending the most caring and compassionate thoughts to her family as they work through their own grief,” Holmes wrote, “and extend compassion to those of us who worked so closely with Lenda over the last several years as we process our own grief during these strange times.”

About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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