Former Pleasanton City Councilwoman Karin Mohr talks about life after politics during an interview in May 1997.
Former Pleasanton City Councilwoman Karin Mohr talks about life after politics during an interview in May 1997. (Jim Ketsdever/Staff file)

and Kelly Gust

PLEASANTON -- Karin Mohr, a former member of the Pleasanton City Council, died Monday as the result of a fall. She was 74.

Mohr served on the council for four consecutive terms from 1980 to 1996. In her memory, city flags were lowered to half-staff.

Mohr's daughter Jennifer Harkins, who lived with her mother along with her two teenage boys, remembered her for her practical and pragmatic outlook on life, as well as her thirst for travel, cooking and knowledge.

"She lived knowing things and learning things," she said. "She was incredibly intelligent and so curious about how things worked. ... She could survive anywhere."

Harkins said her mother died as the result of a fall from a ladder on Nov. 5 while cleaning out their home's rain gutters.

Suffering from massive brain injuries, Mohr was kept in a medically induced coma at Eden Medical Center until Monday night, when she was removed from a ventilator, as was her previously stated wish, Harkins said.

Mohr will be cremated with her ashes scattered over Lake Tahoe, a locale she adored, Harkins said. No services are currently planned.

Friends and city officials on Tuesday recalled what made Mohr an effective politician.

"Karin Mohr contributed greatly to the Pleasanton we know today. Her vision and hard work were instrumental in the development of our transportation infrastructure, economic success and high quality of life. Her passing is a tremendous loss for the people of Pleasanton," Mayor Jerry Thorne said in a statement.

Mohr may be best known for her push to get gravel trucks from local quarries off downtown streets. She was elected to the council on that issue. After more than a decade of legal suits and negotiations with the quarries, a city ordinance banning the truck travel finally took effect in 1995. It was celebrated by the city with a procession of gravel trucks being ushered off First Street and the police chief writing a ceremonial ticket.

"She had a special role" in the stop of the trucks, said former Mayor Ken Mercer. "She ran on that, it was her campaign issue" in 1980, Mercer said. "She'd stand out there with signs all the time" to protest the noise and traffic and possible danger.

"They used to run 100,000 trucks a year down First Street. ... They'd start around 4 a.m. and run until 10" at night, he said, noting Mohr's concern for schoolchildren who had to walk that way, as well as for drivers whose windshields were damaged by flying gravel.

Linda Jeffery Sailors, a former Dublin mayor and city councilwoman, and a friend of Mohr, said what made Mohr most effective was "her concern for the community as a whole, the whole Tri-Valley."

She recalled how she, Mohr and Ayn Wieskamp, of the Livermore council, pushed their councils to create a valleywide transportation system that became the Wheels Bus Service serving all three cities. "We were the three mothers of Wheels," she said, noting Mohr's ability to work easily with others.

Mercer recalled Mohr's involvement in many projects including Pleasanton Sports Park, the Pleasanton Senior Center, the Pleasanton Library, and in bringing BART into the Tri-Valley.

Reporter Joyce Tsai also contributed to this story. Contract Jeremy Thomas at jethomas@bayareanewsgroup.com.