She was 90 and had been married to her husband, John, for 63 years when he died Jan. 16.
OLYMPIA — Former Washington state first lady Lois Spellman has died, just days after her husband, former Gov. John Spellman.
Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, said in a written statement Thursday they were sorry to hear of her death and that “our state is better for the life and work of this gracious, loving and kind woman.”
Lois Spellman, who died early Thursday, was 90 and had been married to her husband for 63 years when he died Jan. 16.
In a statement, the Spellman family said their father “sweetly sang ‘My Wild Irish Rose’ to his wife for her 90th birthday. … That she joins him so quickly in death is fitting, poetic, and is most certainly what she would have wanted,” the family statement said.
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John Spellman was Washington’s last Republican governor, serving a single term after being elected in 1980. Inslee said Lois Spellman was her husband’s trusted adviser throughout his political career. She was known for her efforts to feed the hungry, working with her husband to boost support for food banks.
“Lois was a formidable woman who had an extraordinary influence over her children and an outsized impact on many of the people that she met as teammate to our father during his early days in law, decades of public service for the County and State, and in the many years following,” the Spellman family statement said.
The Spellmans are survived by six children and six grandchildren.