Beverly Wilke, mother of state Assembly candidate Stacie Wilke, was remembered Friday as a long-time Carson City activist who inspired her daughter's political career.
Beverly Wilke, 62, died Wednesday in a fire caused by faulty wiring in her Florida apartment.
Stacie Wilke, a four-year member of the Carson City school board, said she will continue her bid for the Assembly and dedicate the race to the woman who inspired her to run for public office.
"She wouldn't have it any other way," Stacie Wilke said. "She wouldn't want me sitting home crying. She would want me concentrating on winning this race."
Although Beverly Wilke never held a political office, she spent 30 years in Carson City working behind the scenes of local politics.
She served as president of the Democratic Women's Club and was a member of the Democratic Central Committee.
She served on Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa's campaign and helped Bob Rose in his bid for the same office.
"She was very dedicated and passionate," Stacie Wilke remembered. "She always said if you wanted something changed, you couldn't sit on the sidelines, you had to get involved.
Stacie suspects her mother's passion for politics was rekindled when she returned to school in her late 30s. The elder Wilke graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a degree in political science when she was 45.
Although devoted to politics, Beverly Wilke's first love was her children, Stacie and Kyle, who died nine years ago from a blood infection when he was 25.
"She was a great mom," she said. "She was at every track meet, volleyball game and tennis match. She was very involved."
Beverly Wilke moved to Carson City in 1963 with her husband, Bill, and their children.
The couple divorced in 1979, but remained in the area. Beverly Wilke worked for the Nevada Legislature through the 1970s and worked for the state in other capacities until 1993.
She moved to Florida in 1993 to be closer to her ailing mother, Ann Brodeur, who died two weeks ago.
Stacie Wilke said as she has met people during her campaign, they all remember her mother well.
"They always tell me how giving she was and that she always followed through," she said. "She was just a great lady. They can't say enough about her."
A celebration of life will be scheduled after the Nov. 5 election.