Saturday, January 12, 2013
Great Lady Down. Gene Seerbloom RIP
Gene Segerblom, a former high school teacher, Boulder City Council member and four-term assemblywoman, died at Boulder City Hospital on Friday night. She was 94.
She was the mother of state Sen. Tick Segerblom, who successfully extended the family name, which has existed for four generations in Nevada politics, as far back as the early 1900s.
"She loved Nevada," said Tick Segerblom, 64, who said he hopes his mother's death will become a celebration of her life. "She always had a smile on her face, and she never had a bad day. I'm just asking people to remember her and give her a toast."
Tick Segerblom said the death of his mother, who had been ill for more than a year, capped an exciting life that was dedicated to teaching and public service.
The family's political tree started with his mother's grandfather who represented Humboldt County as a state senator between 1906 and 1914.
"We're all Democrats to the bone," said Tick Segerblom, who served District 9 in the Assembly before being elected in November to represent downtown Las Vegas in state Senate District 3.
Tick Segerblom said he moved back to Las Vegas in the late 1970s after serving as the western regional director of the Democratic Party during President Jimmy Carter's administration.
His mother was born on March 15, 1918, in Ruby Valley in Humboldt County. Tick Segerblom said her ancestors were Pony Express riders.
She ended up attending the University of Nevada, Reno, where she was certified to teach, and eventually became a teacher in Boulder City, which was called Boulder Dam at the time, according to Segerblom.
It wasn't until after she retired from teaching that she entered politics. At one point, both she and her son took turns serving in office.
"When I was chairman of the Democratic Party in Nevada, I remember there was a vacant seat in Boulder City, and I encouraged mom to run for the state Assembly," Tick Segerblom said. "Then when I was working with President Carter, she was serving on the Boulder City Council."
Although his job as an employment lawyer takes up a big chunk of his life and career, Tick Segerblom said, he's proud of his mother and the family heritage.
"We're the only family with four generations in the state Legislature," he said. "It's almost an inside joke because it's such a small job, but we're famous for our service."
Contact reporter Tom Ragan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5512.