Laura Dean Mooney, an advocate for supporting first responders and a former president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, died Thursday night at the age of 59, according to the city of College Station. Mooney was the wife of College Station Mayor Karl Mooney.

Mooney was a member of the Texas A&M University class of 1982 and worked as a researcher at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. She served as president of the national Mothers Against Drunk Driving association from 2008 to 2011.

“Mrs. Mooney was a tireless and selfless advocate for many worthy causes and devoted countless hours in service to her community, state and nation,” a city release stated Friday morning. “The heartfelt prayers and condolences of the entire city organization are with Mayor Mooney and his family.”

Robert Wunderlich, head of TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety, described Mooney on Friday as “a tireless and cheerful worker” and praised her engagement in community activities. Mooney worked in TTI’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Education Studies.

“She wanted to make the world a better place, and that was so evident in the work that she did with us,” Wunderlich said. “We will honor her legacy by reaffirming her passion for those transportation safety issues.”

MADD released a statement Friday morning that called Mooney a “fierce and tireless advocate for tougher drunk driving laws, law enforcement and the victims of impaired driving,” something that stemmed from her response to tragic loss. Her husband, Mike Dean, was killed by a drunken driver in 1991, just eight months after their daughter, Tara, was born.

“My husband was killed for no reason, and my daughter was fatherless,” Mooney said in 2008, just after her election as MADD president and 15 years after first joining MADD as a volunteer. “There wasn’t Thanksgiving that year. My daughter’s life, my life, and that of all the families involved changed forever. Fortunately, I decided to do something about this horrific event by trying to prevent others from suffering the same kind of pain. MADD makes the roads safer, and I wanted to be part of that.”

Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at Hillier Funeral Home of College Station. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at Grace Bible Church in College Station, followed by graveside services at 1 p.m. in Oaklawn Cemetery in Somerville.

At the request of Mayor Mooney, a fund is being established at the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley to honor the legacy of Laura Mooney. Memorial contributions should be made payable to: CFBV — Laura Mooney Fund benefiting Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Checks should be mailed to: Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley P.O. Box 2622 Bryan, TX 77805-2622.

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