NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Longtime Tennessee State Senator Thelma Harper will be the first African American woman to lie in the Tennessee State Capitol.
Sen. Harper passed away on April 22 at 80-years-old. Her family stated that she died peacefully and unexpectedly.
She was the first African American woman elected to the Tennessee State Senate and was the longest-serving female state Senator in state history when she retired.
Sen. Harper tackled major projects, she held a famous yearly Easter egg hunt, and of course, everyone knows the hats that became her trademark style.
"She dedicated her life to her family and serving the people of Tennessee and the 19th District in the Senate and the 2nd District in the Metro Council. On behalf of our entire family we are extremely grateful for all your support through the years," her family said in a statement.