Carolyn Rush, the wife of Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush has died, according to a tweet the congressman sent out on Monday.
Today I have lost by best friend, the love of my life, my confidant and my best half. Carolyn I will always love you.
— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) March 13, 2017
She had been fighting an illness for at least three years and the congressman took a leave of absence from his legislative duties to care for her in 2013, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. At the time Rush’s spokeswoman, Debra Johnson said he was taking leave “to be with his wife Carolyn as she undergoes major surgery” without elaborating further.
But according to the Chicago Sun-Times Carolyn Rush, 67, had been hospitalized several times over the past three years due to health issues stemming from open-heart surgery.
The couple had been married 36 years and had six children together. She remained by his side through his political career, from his time as an alderman to his current position in Congress. In 1999 their son Huey, 29, died four days after being shot and wounded in an armed robbery.
Attempts to reach out to Rush’s staff were not immediately returned and no officials statements on his wife’s passing have been released yet.