Jane Seeman was the Mayor of Vienna from the year 2000 until her death yesterday, after a year-long battle with lung cancer. She was literally the face of the Town. Everybody knew her and everybody liked her.
I knocked on Jane’s door in Vienna when I was campaigning for Senate in 2007. It was a burning hot summer afternoon. She had already committed to the other candidate, but we had a great conversation. She gave me several glasses of ice water as I rested my sore feet. We talked about her life in Kansas and moving to northern Virginia in the 1960′s.
Before I knew it, I had wasted twenty minutes — talking to a “lost cause” voter. But that was Jane Seeman. Even if she wasn’t with you, you felt like she was.
Once I was elected, Jane advised me on all issues involving the Town. She was everywhere, always coming down to Richmond to host the Town’s annual dinner. Back home, I teased her that she was my “date” whenever I walked into a local parade or event, because we were always together.
Jane was a great voice for towns, who often get lost in the mega-counties of Fairfax or Loudoun. She had a feel for small town life, maintaining civic identity, and what it took to build a coalition with similar communities. She had a vision for Vienna. I can’t imagine a Viva Vienna or Halloween parade without her.
Jane was a woman of Christian faith and parishioner of Vienna Presbyterian Church. Her service will be Friday afternoon. Today, I moved the Senate to adjourn in her memory — and the body agreed to the motion unanimously.
Rest in Peace, Madam Mayor.