‘A devastating loss’
Former FD city councilwoman dies of COVID
Cindy Litwiller put her all into everything she did.
As a member of the Fort Dodge City Council, she listened to her constituents and kept their best interests in mind. As the director of economic development for Wright County, she cultivated strong relationships with the communities and city councils within the county.
Litwiller died on Saturday in a hospital in Goodyear, Arizona, after a battle with COVID-19. She was 65 years old.
“It’s a devastating loss for our county,” said Wright County Supervisor Karl Helgevold. “She was just a wonderful person and was very knowledgeable. When she was working her deals, she did it with professionalism and made everyone feel comfortable.”
Litwiller had been the Wright County economic development director since the summer of 2018.
“When she first came on, we were just in the planning stages of our industrial park and she has seen that project all the way through, and the placement of a new business in our industrial park,” Helgevold said.
Litwiller, who continued to live in Fort Dodge, embraced Wright County when she started the job, the county supervisor said. She would attend city council meetings for the various towns in the county each month.
“She went above and beyond for Wright County,” Helgevold said.
Prior to taking her position in Wright County, Litwiller was the executive director for the Iowa Falls Development Corporation, where she played a critical role in helping the community develop a former hospital into multiple living spaces. She worked in Iowa Falls for seven years.
Before working in economic development, Litwiller was employed as a marketing specialist for Fort Dodge and Webster County Development from 2007 to 2011. That was before it became part of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.
From 2006 through 2010, Litwiller served as the Fort Dodge City Council member for Ward 3, where she played key roles in passing the 1% local option sales tax, which is earmarked for street improvements and repairs; the development of the ag park seven miles west of Fort Dodge; and the development and construction of the Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center.
“She was a very dedicated councilperson,” said Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich, who served alongside Litwiller on the City Council. “Always well-researched and really seemed to always speak for her constituents and try to represent their ideas and the values that she shared with them.”
The time Litwiller served on the City Council was a unique time for Fort Dodge’s government, which was switching forms from a strong mayor form to a city manager form.
“She was dedicated to seeing that change through and put it on a good path to move our community forward,” Bemrich said.
Current Fort Dodge City Council member Dave Flattery, Ward 4, served two years alongside Litwiller on the council.
“I remember she was always prepared for the council meetings,” he recalled. “She was always very professional … did not have a political agenda. She was always concerned about her constituents, how change would affect her constituents.”
In 2000 and 2001, Litwiller was the administrative assistant to Mayor Gail Van Alstine in Fort Dodge.
“I worked with Cindy for a couple of years and she was an extremely devoted worker, very friendly and always took that extra step,” Van Alstine said.
Litwiller’s absence will be felt deeply in the region, especially in Wright County.
“There was a peace about her when she was working with people,” Helgevold said. “She was admired by her fellow employees at the courthouse and admired by the supervisors.”