Shirley Carey, a longtime trustee for the Huntington Beach City School District, died last week at the age of 71.
Carey, who was first elected to the board in 1990 and reelected last year, died March 22 from pneumonia, kidney failure and heart complications, her daughter, Jennifer Farias, said.
A nurse by profession, Carey often volunteered for the city's Children's Needs Task Force and other local groups in addition to her trustee duties. She also served as president of the Orange County School Boards Assn., a board that oversees local school and community college boards.
"She was just an amazing, supportive, wonderful person that was just full of life," Farias said. "Anything she could do to support us, anything that she felt was wrong or needed to be changed, she went with it full force."
Supt. Kathy Kessler, who has worked in the district since 1997, called Carey a devoted trustee who took a special interest in science programs and worked hard to protect classrooms during budget cuts.
"As a trustee on our board, she was always very committed to doing what's best for students and the community," Kessler said. "She worked very well and collaboratively with her colleagues to make good student-based decisions."
The board plans to discuss Carey's replacement at its April 12 meeting. Her term, which ends in 2014, can be filled by an appointment or a special election, Kessler said.
Blanca Zimmerman, the executive assistant for the school boards association, said President-elect Suzie Swartz would likely finish Carey's one-year term, which ends in June.
A viewing for Carey will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Dilday Brothers Funeral Directors, 17911 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach. Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church, 20444 Magnolia St.