CHICAGO (AP) — Carolyn Rush, the wife of Chicago Democratic U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, has died at age 68.

The congressman’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Gadlin, confirmed that Carolyn Rush died Monday morning. Rush’s office says she died of congestive heart failure at the University of Chicago Hospital with the congressman and her children at her bedside.

Rush said in a statement that he’s lost “my best friend, the love of my life, my confidant and my best half.”

The couple was married for 36 years and had a blended family of seven children, including one son who is deceased, and 11 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

Carolyn Rush had been a community organizer, precinct captain and a political strategist who had worked to end discrimination in housing and employment.

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