Mary Cuthbert, a longtime advisory neighborhood commissioner in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8, reportedly died on Thursday according to sources familiar with her circumstances.
Cuthbert was 77. The cause of death has not been released to the public.
Troy Donte Prestwood, the president of the Ward 8 Democrats, expressed the organization’s sentiments regarding Cuthbert.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Ward 8 civic leader Mary Cuthbert,” Prestwood said in a statement released on Friday. “Mary was a fierce community advocate who fought to bring economic justice, equal employment, and educational opportunities to Ward 8. For more than 20 years, Mary served on the Ward 8 Democrats Executive Committee in various roles. During this time, she also represented Ward 8 as a committeewoman on the D.C. Democratic State Committee.”
Prestwood noted Cuthbert was a former vice president of the Ward 8 Democrats, president of the Congress Heights Community Association, president of the 7th District Citizens Advisory Council, and 34 years as an advisory neighborhood commissioner. He also noted her service on the redevelopment advisory board for the St. Elizabeths East campus.
He noted Cuthbert, a retired union employee of the American Federation of Government Employees, “was beloved by many in the community.”
“She served as a mentor to many elected leaders and residents alike throughout the District,” Prestwood said. “On a personal note, Mary had a way of getting your attention whether you were a willing participant or not. If she had something to say, you were going to hear it. I can certainly attest to being on the opposing side of Mary’s ire and living to tell the story. But just as soon as you concede all was lost, like a lioness protecting her cubs, she surprises you with a full-throated endorsement as your biggest cheerleader. She will be deeply missed.”
D.C. Councilmember Robert White, a candidate for mayor in the June 21 Democratic primary, reflected on Cuthbert on Twitter Friday.
“Rest in eternal peace Mary Cuthbert, a Ward 8 stalwart who didn’t take nonsense from anyone,” he tweeted. “No one can fill her shoes.”