TN State Rep. Lois DeBerry Dies at 68

TN State Rep. Lois DeBerry Dies at 68

The community is mourning the loss of Tennessee State Representative Lois DeBerry.

MEMPHIS, TN--The community is mourning the loss of Tennessee State Representative Lois DeBerry.

"She was strong in regards to education, strong in regards to women issues, and strong in regards to health and I definitely remember her for that and I'm honored to have been able to serve while she was their because you know she was a icon, a living icon right there on the house floor," said State Representative Antonio Parkinson.

Parkinson says Representaive DeBerry was a mentor of his and she was the longest serving member of the House of Representatives.

Sunday she lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. The State Rep. was the first African-American female elected to the State Legislature from Memphis and Shelby County back in 1972.

"She was there a long time before I got there and had passed a lot of good laws at that time. So she was just kind of laid back because we would just go to her if it was something we need to get done," said State Representative Barbara Cooper.

Cooper says DeBerry was a well known top advocate for Memphis. The Memphis native graduated from Hamilton High School and Lemoyne-Owen College to become a teacher. In 1973, she began her service in the legislative session.

The Memphis Democrat sponsored bills that included education, senior citizens, and bank and financial institutions. DeBerry was known as one of the state's most effective leaders.

"Lois is to be celebrated. She's a remarkable person," said Parkinson.

"I think everybody even the higher officials depended on her about relative legislation that we have. Especially if it's gonna effect Memphis. Just pick up the phone and call Lois, call Lois, call Lois. So now we just have to see if we can find another Lois. I don't think we’re going to be able to do that," said Cooper.

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