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Former Washington First Lady Lois Spellman dies

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 25, 2018, 9:11 p.m.

Lois Spellman, wife of Gov. John Spellman of Washington. Photo taken September 15, 1981. (Wes Cameron / Cowles Publishing)
Lois Spellman, wife of Gov. John Spellman of Washington. Photo taken September 15, 1981. (Wes Cameron / Cowles Publishing)

Former Washington first lady Lois Spellman died Wednesday just days after her husband, John.

Born Lois Elizabeth Murphy in 1927 in Havre, Montana, she met John Spellman in a Spanish class at Seattle University, Spellman biographer John Hughes wrote in his book about the former governor. They were married for 63 years. Devout Catholics, they prayed the rosary every night before bed.

With John Spellman as governor from 1981-85, Lois Spellman championed food banks, a cause she’d supported when he was King County executive. She lobbied the U.S. secretary of agriculture for surplus commodities and the state restaurant association for leftovers to be distributed to food banks, Hughes wrote.

“She was John’s trusted advisor throughout his career and a strong protector of everyone around her – from members of her family to state employees,” Gov. Jay Inslee wrote in an email. “Losing Lois so shortly after the death of John is heartbreaking.”

John Spellman died Jan. 16. They were both 91.


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