Former Redmond councilmembers die in span of three weeks

Family members speak on how they influenced the community

Former Redmond councilmembers, Sharon Dorning, Thomas Paine and Richard Cole died in a span of three weeks.

All three served at different times. Dorning served from 1992 to 2003, Paine served from 1998 to 2005 and Cole served from 1988 to 2011.

“I’m just overwhelmed. I’m very sad,” said former Councilmember Nancy McCormick. “Redmond lost three great public servants who gave a lot of their time, energy and thought to make Redmond a better city.”

McCormick, who served on the council for 24 years, said all three former councilmembers spent a tremendous amount of time away from their families and away from their interests. She served with all three and held a very collegial relationship with each of them.

“Sharon was a friend. She had great sense of humor. A real plus in the council,” said McCormick. “It took wise people, good humor, patience and understanding [during difficult times in council] and she did that.”

According to McCormick, Paine was fair minded, willing to listen, open minded, a thoughtful decision maker and a good addition to the council.

And Cole was a hardworking, passionate and involved man who loved his community.

Cole, 77, died Oct. 10 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Logan, Utah on April 24, 1941. Cole moved to Redmond in 1978, where he spent the remainder of his life. He served on the Redmond City Council for 24 years, in addition to numerous committees and boards in the region.

“He served for 24 years and took that role and responsibility to heart,” said Cole’s daughter, Beth Robinweiler. “He met with people in the community and organizations, whether they had problems and wanted something changed. That was his passion. He loved his family. He loved spending time with family and that was very important. He will be missed.”

Cole’s memorial services will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the Redmond City Hall Council Chambers at 15670 NE 85th St.

Thomas Paine served from 1998 to 2005. Paine died on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the age of 70. Photo courtesy of Alison Paoli

Thomas Paine served from 1998 to 2005. Paine died on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the age of 70. Photo courtesy of Alison Paoli

Paine died Oct. 7 at the age of 70. He was born in Everett on March 6, 1948. Paine served on the city’s Parks and Recreation Board for four years before running for council, where he served for eight years. Paine also volunteered to coach various sports teams. Community, parks and infrastructure were very important to him.

“It’s a job people do because they want to give back to their communities,” said Paine’s daughter Alison Paoli.

She said her father served because he “loved his community deeply.”

“The hours he spent reading and paying attention to the details and finding a solution — the amount of work no one [saw] on his own dime — was rather incredible,” said . “He was thoughtful and dedicated. His spirit was a lot younger than his age. He was patient and very thoughtful. He was a dedicated man who wanted to make difference with anything he could do. He is the best man I’ve ever known.”

Paine was diagnosed with stomach cancer in May 2017.

Paine’s memorial will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10. If anybody should want to attend, email Paoli at

Sharon Dorning served from 1992 to 2003. Dorning died one day before her 76th birthday on Monday, Sept. 17. Photo courtesy of Dignity Memorial

Sharon Dorning served from 1992 to 2003. Dorning died one day before her 76th birthday on Monday, Sept. 17. Photo courtesy of Dignity Memorial

Dorning died one day before her 76th birthday on Sept. 17. She was born in Everett on Sept. 18, 1942. She was deeply involved in her community. Dorning was elected to several position with the city of Redmond. She served eight years on both the Redmond City Council and the Design Review Boards.

“My mom was a hoot. She was charismatic and hilarious. She challenged people to think. She was tons of fun,” said Dorning’s daughter Jamie Williams. “I think that every decision that she made, she thought about us as kids and other families in town. She was an amazing woman. Very thoughtful and kind. She was generous. She was beautiful. She built people up. I think that everybody that knew her was grateful to have known her and blessed to have her as a part of their life. I’m going to miss her a lot.”

Dorning died of natural causes. There were no signs of trouble, illness or sickness. Her memorial was held Oct. 28.

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