(WMC - Memphis) A spokesperson for the family of Tennessee State Representative Lois DeBerry confirmed with Memphis NBC-affiliate WMC the beloved public servant passed away Sunday afternoon.
DeBerry, who served Tennessee's District 91 in Memphis, for more than 40 years, was surrounded by family and friends in the hospital.
Rep. DeBerry leaves behind her husband, Charles Traughber, and son, Michael Boyer.
DeBerry grew up in Memphis and graduated from Hamilton High School and LeMoyne-Owen College.
She was the first African-American female elected to the State Legislature from Memphis and Shelby County in 1972, and began her service in 1973.
She was the longest serving member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.
Representative DeBerry was the first female Speaker Pro-Tempore and the only African-American to serve in that capacity to date.
At the time of her death, DeBerry was battling pancreatic cancer.
The family is asking for privacy at this time.
Arrangements are pending and will be announced when they are finalized.