Funeral held for congressman's wife - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Funeral held for congressman's wife

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ATLANTA -

Friends and family said goodbye to Congressman John Lewis' wife on Monday. Lillian Lewis died late last month in Atlanta at age 73.

Friends say Lewis was sick and had been at Emory Hospital.   

Her funeral was held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same church where the couple was married 44 years ago.

Mrs. Lewis is credited with helping her husband make the transition from civil rights advocate to political office holder. John Lewis was first elected to congress in 1986.

"She's in that sorority of great woman that stood with and for their husbands and urged us to fight for this new day," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Friends say that while John Lewis stood in the public arena, Lillian remained in the background as a confidant and advisor while pursuing her own work as an educator with a strong personality and intellect.

"Lillian loved John with an uncompromising passion. Although she was not a public person herself, she was committed to her husband's public ambitions," said Xernona Clayton Brady.

Speaker Anita Hill said that Lillian was an inspiration to her.

"With grace and dignity, Lillian helped me to truly appreciate that real courage is not something you do one time. But it's how you live your life," said Hill.

"Publicly we saw her fight against the demons of Jim Crow. We saw her bring down walls of segregation standing along size her husband, but privately she was also an indomitable spirit," said the rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

In addition to her husband, Lillian Lewis is survived by her son, John Miles Lewis.

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