ITD mourns loss of Jan Vassar, first female appointed to Idaho Transportation Board

LEWISTON – Longtime Idaho Transportation Board Member Jan Vassar passed away Oct. 22 at a hospital in Lewiston, the result of sepsis and pneumonia. Vassar was a member of the seven-member board for more than 12 years, serving the District 2 region of Nez Perce, Latah, Idaho, Clearwater and Lewis counties. She was the first female appointee to the transportation board.

“Jan was a great person. She was well liked by staff and her fellow board members for her gracious and humble presence,” said Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad. “She brought vast experience and knowledge of transportation issues not just in her district, but across Idaho. Jan was a true professional, always prepared to make decisions on behalf of all Idahoans. She handled her board business with tremendous class and grace. We plan to honor her legacy with a fitting tribute at next month’s board meeting.”

Idaho Governor Brad Little was one of many deeply touched by Vassar.

“Jan was a dedicated public servant who made great contributions to our state and her community. She will be deeply missed by many colleagues, neighbors, and loved ones,” Governor Little said.

Vassar began her tenure on the board about the same time Brian Ness took over as Director of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in late 2009.

“Member Vassar understood what it took to provide excellent service to the public and was integral to helping ITD achieve all that we have over the past 12 years,” said Director Ness. “Jan was a tremendous advocate for transportation and for the people of this department. I can speak for all ITD employees when I say she will be greatly missed.”

Before serving on the Idaho Transportation Board, Vassar spent 29 years in the public sector, the last 14 of which were as the Lewiston City Manager. She began working for the city as an intern in 1977. Vassar worked on the city’s administrative staff in various positions before becoming City Manager.

“It was shocking to hear the news. I have known Jan for more than 20 years and hold her in the highest regard for experience and knowledge,” said District 2 Engineer Doral Hoff. “She was always friendly, thoughtful and professional. The district will miss her and we send our condolences to her husband, John, and the entire Vassar family. ITD has lost a treasured person.”

Note: A funeral service for Jan will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church in Lewiston, 633 5th Avenue.