Utah House Democrats Remember Norma Matheson as a Woman of Grace, Warmth, and Great Intelligence

Media Statement

For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2019 

Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(385) 228-5483 | rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Utah House Democrats Remember Norma Matheson
as a Woman of Grace, Warmth, and Great Intelligence

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah House Democrats are saddened by the news that Norma Matheson has passed away at age 89. Norma was a staunch advocate for good governance and civic participation, and she was a beloved leader for Utah Democrats. Norma was the wife of former Utah Democratic governor Scott Matheson, and the mother of former U.S. Congressman Jim Matheson and 10th U.S. Circuit Judge Scott Matheson Jr. We are grateful for her many contributions to the success and well-being of our state. We express our condolences to the Matheson family.  

“I grew up across the street from Norma and have known her almost my entire life,” said Rep. Patrice Arent. “She was like my second mom. She always had time to chat and I could tell her absolutely anything. Norma was a woman of grace, warmth, and great intelligence. She truly understood people. I will never forget knocking on doors with her for my campaigns. People would run out of their homes to see Norma when they heard she was in their neighborhood. I loved Norma and will miss her very much.” 

House Minority Leader Rep. Brian King said, “Whenever I wanted to hear a commonsense, down-to-earth perspective on an issue that I knew was shared by regular Utahns, I knew Norma was the person to talk to. She reflected the values of Utahns.” 

Norma Warenski Matheson was born in Nephi, Utah. She attended East High School, and married Scott M. Matheson in 1951. During and after her tenure as the First Lady of Utah from 1977 to 85, she advocated for and was a member of the Utah Democratic Party, the Nature Conservancy, the University of Utah College of Nursing Development Committee, the State Board of Aging, and more. She was also the President of the League of Women Voters and helped organize the International Women's Year conference in 1977. In 2014, Norma Matheson Served as a co-chair for the Count My Vote initiative to establish a hybrid primary election system and increase participation in Utah elections.

Together with Scott, she had four children: Scott, Jr., James, Thomas, and Lu. James (“Jim”) Matheson served as member of the House of Representatives from 2001-2005, and Scott, Jr. is currently a federal judge. Scott M. Matheson died of multiple myeloma in 1990.