UPDATE: a memorial service for Lucas is scheduled for Friday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at Faith United Church of Christ in Windsor. The family has asked that those attending wear bright colors.
Carrie Ann Lucas, a disability advocate who was a familiar sight at the Colorado Capitol for years, has died after a long illness.
Lucas was 46 and the parent of four disabled children. She was also an attorney and well-known activist for the rights of the disabled. Lucas had a rare form of muscular dystrophy that began to show up in her teens.
An obituary posted on her Facebook page said the following (edited for clarity):
"Carrie Ann grew up in Windsor, Colorado and had several careers including teacher, ordained minister and legal assistant before becoming an attorney. Carrie graduated from Whitworth College in 1994, traveled and taught in Saipan, and then returned to the states to attend the Iliff School of Theology.
She received a Master's of Divinity with Justice and Peace Concentration from Iliff in 1999, but during her time there, became increasingly involved in disability advocacy. After she graduated, she started working as an advocate and later legal assistant for the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, investigating, preparing, and monitoring disability rights cases and providing informal advocacy on a wide range of topics.
Lucas was granted a full scholarship as a Chancellor’s Scholar at the University of Denver School of Law.
Following her graduation from DU in 2005, she founded Disabled Parents Rights, one of the only organizations in the country devoted to this issue. She also became a national expert and trainer on the rights of parents with disabilities and, through her legal advocacy, secured decisions upholding and promoting those rights here in Colorado. Most recently she was recruited by the Colorado Office of Respondent Parents Counsel to help set up a program to train other lawyers around the state.
Lucas was a member of the ADAPT group that protested in U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s office and was arrested in 2017 during protests that attempted to save the Affordable Care Act.
Carrie became a lawyer to practice family law after lived experience of discrimination against parents with disabilities firsthand. She adopted Heather, Adrianne, Azisa and Anthony Lucas. All of her children have significant disabilities and Carrie Ann always made sure that they were not only educated and included in their communities, but that they were loved, respected, and supported in their individual hopes and dreams."
Lucas frequently testified on legislation at the state Capitol. In a 2016 profile in The Colorado Independent, Lucas discussed her views on right-to-die legislation.
“I don’t want anyone to die in pain, either, and have a miserable death,” Lucas said. “But I also want to make sure that we are legislating laws that protect the most vulnerable people."
In addition to her four children, Carrie Ann is survived by her parents Phil and Lee Lucas, sister Courtney Lucas, brother Eric Gover, her niece Danielle Mann, nephews Cody Mann, Gavin and Colin Lucas, Danielle’s partner Aaron Boone and their sons Izaiah, Kyal and Eli, Gavin’s wife Kathleen and their daughter Emily and Colin’s son Dakota. She is predeceased by a sister, Kelli Mann and her grandparents. She is also survived by her partner Dr. Kimberley Jackson, a CCDC Board member and activist in the disability community.