Elaine Edwards, Louisiana’s longest-serving first lady, dies

Local News
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Elaine Schwartzenburg Edwards, the ex-wife of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, died Monday at age 89, relatives said.

Edwards died at the Denham Springs home of her daughter, Victoria. Her children said she suffered a long illness and recently spent time in hospice care.

No first lady has spent more time in the position than Edwards. She served the role from 1972 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1988, alongside her then-husband, Louisiana’s longest-serving governor.

While first lady, Elaine Edwards was briefly appointed to the U.S. Senate, filling the vacancy left after Allen J. Ellender’s death in 1972. She returned to the Governor’s Mansion later that year, following the election of J. Bennett Johnson to the Senate.

Elaine and Edwin Edwards, high school sweethearts from Marksville, had four children together. They divorced in 1989, after 40 years of marriage. Edwin married the former Candace Picou in 1994, while serving his fourth gubernatorial term, before marrying the former Trina Grimes Scott in 2011. Elaine never re-married.

Statement from Stephen Edwards, son of Elaine and Edwin Edwards:

It is the saddest regret that we announce the passing of our mother, Elaine Swartzenburg Edwards. She has gone to join her Loved ones in the kingdom of heaven. My mom left this life after a protracted illness. Her four children were at her side at the end of her life. It goes without saying that we are honored to be her children. Our Mother was a dedicated servant to the state she loved so dearly. She will be remembered as a true Matriarch of our family, a philanthropist and the embodiment of class. In the recent days before her passing, she asked that I thank the people of the State of Louisiana for such a wonderful life.

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