ABOVE PHOTO: Rep. Lois DeBerry, D-Memphis, talks in her Legislative Plaza office in Nashville, Tenn in 2011. DeBerry, one of the longest serving female lawmakers in the nation and a powerful influence in state politics, died Sunday after a nearly five-year bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 68.
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
HARRISBURG– State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLBC), and members of the PLBC said they wish to express their condolences to the family of Tennessee Rep. Lois DeBerry.
Brown said that DeBerry, who died of pancreatic cancer July 28, was a powerful voice for minorities throughout the country.
She is recognized as the longest-serving representative in Tennessee state history, and served as president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators from 1994-1999.
“Tennessee and the entire nation have lost a courageous leader,” Brown said. “DeBerry was an independent thinker who forged bipartisan compromises on a regular basis and she dedicated her life to putting Tennesseans and all Americans ahead of her party or herself.
“DeBerry taught us all that in our respective journeys to change the world we must first begin with the initial step. I have no doubt that the innumerable individuals whom she has positively impacted and influenced will make every attempt to complete the journey on her behalf, myself included.”
DeBerry is survived by her husband, Charles Traughber and one son, Michael Boyer.
DeBerry’s funeral service will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, in Memphis, Tenn., and Brown is working with other members of the PLBC with the goal of taking a delegation down to honor DeBerry.
When the House reconvenes in September, Brown will introduce a resolution recognizing DeBerry’s life and service.