Photo of then-Mayor McGilton at the grand opening of Burien Town Square/City Hall/Library in June, 2009 by Michael Brunk |

Sadly, former Burien Mayor and longtime Councilmember Joan McGilton passed away this week.

As we previously reported, McGilton was honored with a Proclamation on July 17 by the current City Council.

McGilton served on the Burien City Council for 12 years, with six as Mayor. She lost her council seat to Debi Wagner in 2013.

“Joan McGilton served the people of Burien for 12 years as a City Councilmember, Deputy Mayor, and Mayor, and brought a deep love of the environment to her work,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “Her service to the region, including her work on the King County Regional Transit Committee, the King County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and the Governor’s Puget Sound Action Team, has created a lasting legacy to her community. She will be greatly missed.”

A 1976 graduate of the University of Washington, with a BA Zoology/Marine Biology, McGilton also earned an MA in Environmental Engineering in 1984.

She was also very active in regional environmental activities, including the Green/Duwamish & Central Puget Sound Watershed (WRIA 9).

She was also the Guest of Honor at a 2014 ceremony for her restoration work at Seahurst Park, including for the Environmental Science Center.

Everyone at The B-Town Blog sends out their deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved Joan.

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B-Town Blog Staff

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

9 replies on “Former Burien Mayor & Councilmember Joan McGilton has passed away”

  1. Mayor McGilton was a jewel in Burien. She was a longtime friend of Burien Actors Theatre. Her service made a huge difference for Burien. She truly will be missed. May she break a leg on that big stage in the sky.

  2. So sorry to hear this. She was totally passionate about her community and making things better. I am happy I had the pleasure of knowing her and condolences to her family and those close to her.

  3. I hope that people will recognize Joan for her ardent commitment to and passion for the City of Burien and the greater community around us, putting politics and viewpoints aside. We need more people that care so much about this town and are willing to roll up their sleeves for the good of us all. Thank you, Joan, for your dedication.

  4. Joan McGilton was a wonderful, remarkable human being. She was a tireless advocate for the environment, and was unwavering in her support for the renovation of Seahurst Park. She was a strong supporter of the Arts and Human Services. She will be greatly missed.

  5. Joan was a dedicated advocate for the environment and the citizens of Burien. I am honored to have been her fellow original Burien Comprehensive Plan Committee member, that along with Rose Clark, Ted Evans (deceased), David Wintermute (deceased) and myself guided the development of policies in the Plan for Burien to protect the natural environment, protect and improve the air and water quality, Puget Sound and the overall quality of life for our citizens. She was my friend and I will sorely miss her.

  6. Living just above Seahurst Park it is hard to visit there and the Environmental Science Center in the Park without thinking of Joan and all she had to do with these wonderful places in Burien.

  7. Condolences to Joan’s family and friends. She made such a wonderful impact on Burien through her years of service. I hope to be as fruitful as this wonderful woman was.

  8. Joan was a unique individual who not only had ideas but worked hard to implement them. Her life long love of the City of Burien is evident in the many projects she implemented and her ability to engage others to this effort. She will be deeply missed.

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