Elaine Schwartzenburg Edwards died this morning in Denham Springs from respiratory problems after a long battle with illness.
The 89-year-old was the wife of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. She has the distinct honor of being the state's longest serving first lady.
She was appointed to the US Senate in 1972 after the death of Allen Ellender. She served three months before resigning.
Her son Stephen said his mother was grateful for everyone's love and support over the years.
Edwin Edwards released this statement:
We were married for 43 years and she was a great asset to me as governor during my first three terms.
She spent a great deal of time raising funds for the crippled children's hospital in New Orleans, which was named for my mother.
We are the parents of four children and grandparents of numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. I know she was very sick and suffered tremendously for the last few months and while her passing is sad, death was inevitable.
I give my sympathy to my children; I have expressed my appreciation for their loyalty to their mother.
We cannot revive the dead or change the past. I'm very grateful and appreciate the expression of symphony from so many mutual friends.
.@FirstLadyOfLA & I send our prayers and condolences to the family of former First Lady Elaine Edwards. She served this state as the first lady and the country as a U.S. Senator with class, compassion and a true commitment to the people of Louisiana. https://t.co/rmTPGDtfsz— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) May 14, 2018
Photo: Wikimedia Commons