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SLO County mourns the death of former Supervisor Shirley Bianchi, 91 

Statements on the death of former county supervisor Shirley Bianchi

Retired Supervisor Shirley Bianchi with then Deputy District Attorney Dan Dow, March 22, 2014 (San Luis Obispo).

–The County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors issued the following statements regarding the death of former District 2 Supervisor Shirley Bianchi:

District 4 Supervisor and Board Chair Lynn Compton said, “The Board of Supervisors and I received the sad news that former District 2 Supervisor Shirley Bianchi died today in San Luis Obispo. She leaves behind an incredible legacy, not just as a Supervisor but also through her community advocacy and leadership in other roles. She was a true public servant and we are grateful for her service.”

District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson said, “Shirley was an inspiration to many in SLO County and especially those of us on the North Coast. Over her many years of public service, she contributed so much, from the establishment of crucial services for children at Martha’s Place to bringing the community together around the successful Hearst Ranch conservation project.”

On Friday, Feb. 26, Bianchi, 91, died at French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo after facing a number of health challenges. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, soils physicist Bill Bianchi, and her children Catherine, Mary, Anne and Jan.

Bianchi served eight years on the County’s Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. She helped create Martha’s Place Children Center and the Hearst Ranch conservation project, which saved 82,000 acres of our coastline from development.

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow also issued a statement on Bianchi’s passing:

“Wendy and I are very saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Honorable Shirley Bianchi, Supervisor 2nd District, Retired,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “Supervisor Bianchi was passionate about serving our community in a manner that reflected the values of her constituents and she was always known for her tireless work ethic and her frank conversations.”

Supervisor Bianchi retired from the Board of Supervisors in 2006 after serving two terms. She was a co-founder of the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, served as a County Planning Commissioner, and served as a trustee for the Cambria Community Healthcare District in addition to supporting many local organizations like Special Olympics. Of particular importance, Shirley was passionate about advocating for providing services to vulnerable children and she was a co-founder of Martha’s Place Children’s Assessment Center. Martha’s Place is named after Shirley’s great-granddaughter and provides expert, multidisciplinary assessment of infants and young children who exhibit extreme behavioral concerns, developmental delays, and known prenatal substance exposure…

“San Luis Obispo County lost a great community leader and patriot who put her hard work behind everything she stood for. We are grateful for her friendship and her life of service to our community. We pray for comfort and peace for her husband Bill and their children and loved ones at this time of mourning. Shirley, you will be greatly missed. Rest in peace.”

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