- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Lucie McKinney, the widow of former U.S. Rep. Stewart McKinney and mother of State Sen. John McKinney, has died. She was 80.

McKinney, who also was the daughter of racecar driver and America’s Cup skipper Briggs Cunningham II, died Saturday, according to the Spear Miller Funeral Home. She had been battling cancer.

McKinney founded and chaired the Stewart McKinney Memorial Foundation, which operates a homeless shelter for AIDS patients in Fairfield.

Her husband died in 1987 at age 56 of complications from AIDS. He was the first member of Congress to die of the disease.

John McKinney, the youngest of her five children, is the state Senate’s minority leader and a Republican candidate for governor.

“Those who choose to dedicate their lives to public service rely on the support of their loved ones to help guide them through the challenges they face,” Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. said “For both Congressman McKinney and Senator McKinney, Lucie McKinney provided the support that allowed them to work towards improving the lives of Connecticut’s families.”

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Monday.

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