La Mirada Council Honors Former Mayor Wayne Rew

 

HONORING HIS LEGACY: Mayor John Lewis with (l-r) Scott and Todd Rew standing with a photo of Wayne Rew at this week’s City Council meeting. 

 

BY TAMMYE MCDUFF • August 29, 2020

At the La Mirada Council meeting on August 25th, the Council was adjourned in memory of former mayor and council member Wayne Rew who recently passed away. Many friends and colleagues were in attendance for the recognition and plaque that his sons received on his behalf.

“It was my honor and privilege to follow him to council in 1999,” said former Mayor and Councilman Steve Jones,” I say honor, but it was also intimidating, Wayne was a consummate Councilman. He would ask the most penetrating questions. We stand on the shoulder of those that went before us, his shoulders were broad and strong and we are a better city because of his dedication.”

Scott Rew is a long time resident of La Mirada and eldest son, “Tonight I am here with my brother Todd, with sadness, but also with great honor and pride in memory of a 21 year councilman, five term Mayor and our dad, Wayne Rew.”

Rew was born in Inglewood in 1935, growing up on the cold mean streets of South Central Los Angeles. He attended Washington High School and was a star athlete as a running back for the football team. Rew went on to play football for USC, transferring to Pepperdine where he obtained his BA and Masters Degree in education. He married the love of his life in 1959 and just a year later purchased a home in La Mirada, the year the City became incorporated.

Continuing his career in education Rew was a track coach for Pepperdine, became coach and counselor for Downey High School and later became Dean of Cerritos Community College. Rew was appointed to the planning commission in 1973, ran for city council in 1978 and won with more votes than any candidate had ever received in the history of the city. He ran six successful campaigns. After his retirement from City Council, Rew was appointed to the LA Planning Commission by the Supervisor Don Knabe and served for many years.

Rew had suffered and recovered from a stroke, but contracted CoVID, “I believe that the virus took all the fire out of dad,” said his son Scott, “He went to sleep on the morning of August 8th and did not wake up, just a month shy of his 85th birthday. We are grateful we were able to spend his last days with family.”

His sons, are not entirely sure what motivated their father to get into local government, but he was passionate about serving the people of La Mirada, ”He was approached many times to pursue higher positions, but always declined saying that he did not want to spend any more time away from his family. In the end he just wanted to give back to his community,” added Scott.

Wayne Rew received many accolades during his career as an educator and councilman, “But in the end,” said Scott, “He really just wanted to be remembered as a good neighbor and a good friend. We are proud to be his sons.”

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