SOUTH GATE — City Councilwoman Dorothea Lombardo, who was elected in April after five unsuccessful attempts, has died after suffering a stroke. She was 65.
Lombardo died Wednesday in the intensive care ward of St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, said Lilia Rodriguez, hospital spokeswoman. Friends and police found Lombardo semiconscious Monday night in her home.
Lombardo, who had lived in South Gate more than 35 years, was a familiar figure around City Hall long before she was elected to the council.
"You could always find her down there, challenging them on something. She was the devil's advocate," said Phylis Carroll, a long-time friend.
'Gathered Her Facts'
Councilman Robert A. Philipp, the city's vice mayor, said: "You didn't always agree with her but she always gathered her facts before she made a decision." Philipp was elected to the council along with Lombardo in April.
Lombardo's four-year term would have expired in April, 1992. By state law, the city has 30 days to appoint a successor or call a special election, said Bruce M. Boogaard, city attorney. An election could be scheduled for the March 7 municipal elections, or for municipal elections in June or next November, he said. No decision is expected until the council meets Nov. 28.
Lombardo, a homemaker, also served on the city Planning Commission in the early 1980s. She ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 1976, 1979, 1982, 1984 and 1986.
Lombardo was a prodigious writer of letters to newspapers, outlining her her position on community affairs. She was also an author of a cookbook on spicy foods entitled, "Some Like It Hot."
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of South Gate, 8691 California Ave.
She is survived by a son, Rusty Lombardo; two daughters, Janet Andy of Denver and Judy Ingram of West Linn, Ore., and two grandchildren.