Mountlake Terrace community mourns unexpected death of longtime Mayor Jerry Smith

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. — The Moutlake Terrace community is mourning the unexpected death of longtime Councilman and Mayor Jerry Smith, who died in his sleep Friday. 

Smith, who had served as mayor since 2004, was 77 years old. He was the longest serving mayor in the city's history, according to community relations coordinator and city clerk Virginia Olsen.

“Having served with Mayor Smith for all of his 17 years on the City Council, I cannot think of one other person that made such a positive impact upon this community,” Olsen said. “He moved things forward after decades of stalemates. And now Mountlake Terrace has reinvented itself with an updated Town Center Plan, light rail coming soon, and a myriad of projects in the works, yet it remains a friendly and welcoming community full of pride.”

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Smith spent 18 years with the Seattle Police Department and served on several regional intergovernmental boards, most notably SNOCOM 911 Board, Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS) Board, Lake Ballinger Watershed Forum, Community Transit Board of Directors and Evergreen State Fair Board, chairing many of them.

Smith and his wife of 56 years, Judi, founded Tour de Terrace in 1993 because they wanted to put Mountlake Terrace on the map by bringing Seafair to the city, Olsen said.

They believed Tour de Terrace would help establish community pride and celebrate the city’s 40th anniversary in 1994.  The Smith family continues to plan and coordinate the three day-long summer Seafair festival each July.  

Smith was also well-known for his kindness to both youths and seniors, serving as MTYAA Youth Soccer President for 25 years and becoming one of the founding members of the Mountlake Terrace Seniors Group.  

Smith's family said a memorial will be held sometime after New Year's Day.