Will be updated.
Betty Anne Ward McCaskill, mother of Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), has died at the age of 84.
Senator McCaskill's campaign released a statement Monday afternoon announcing the death. The statement says Betty Anne was surrounded by her family and died of natural causes at her home in St. Louis.
Senator McCaskill says her mother's death "creates a hole in [her] life that will never be filled." The full text of her statement:
"I am very sad to announce today the passing of my mother, Betty Anne McCaskill. For some time, mom's health has not been good, and our family takes comfort that she is now at rest. People all over the state have asked about her, and their prayers and concern have been greatly appreciated. Mom never met a stranger and lived life with enthusiasm that none of us could match. We were incredibly lucky to have a mother like her, a woman of great intellect and strength, who loved and nurtured, challenged and pushed, and was always there with wise counsel and great humor. While we know she's finally at peace, our family and her friends will all miss her so very much. Her death creates a hole in my life that will never be filled."
In the moments after the announcement, messages of recognition came from several area political figures including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who called the late McCaskill "a force for good."
The statement from the McCaskill campaign says Betty Anne was an active member of the Missouri Democratic political communities throughout her life, including an unsuccessful run for state legislature in 1978 against Leroy Blunt, the father of current Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) Betty Anne was also the first woman elected to the Columbia City Council, according to the statement.
Senator McCaskill had canceled campaigning for the remainder of last week to be with her mother.
Todd Akin, who is challenging Senator McCaskill for US Senate, also released a statement regarding the death of his opponent's mother.
A memorial service is planned for Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the Betty Anne McCaskill Scholarship Fund, 109 Reynolds Alumni Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
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