- Associated Press - Friday, July 7, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Willie Stevenson Glanton, a former prosecutor whose resume includes numerous firsts - Iowa’s first black female legislator, the first woman to lead the state’s Federal Bar Association chapter- has died. She was 95.

The Arkansas native died Thursday while in hospice care at Trinity Center in Des Moines, according to Highland Park Funeral Home in Henderson.

“She paved the way for so many individuals by the life that she led, by the battles that she fought, by the various accomplishments that she enjoyed in her life,” Renee Hardman, Glanton’s longtime friend and her legal guardian, told The Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/2sUC7MM ) “She opened the door for so many.”

Glanton attended Tennessee State University and Robert Terrell Law School in Washington, D.C., before being admitted to the Iowa State Bar Association in 1953. She served in the Iowa House as a Democrat from 1965 to 1967.

She was the first woman to become an assistant Polk County attorney, and was the first woman and first black person to be elected president of the Iowa chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She represented the association in a tour of China, Finland and the Soviet Union in 1986, the same year she was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.

Glanton also served on numerous boards, commissions and councils during a life dedicated to law, human services and civil rights.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Luther T. Glanton, who became Iowa’s first black judge in 1959. He died in 1991. Glanton is survived by her son, Luther Glanton III, along with a granddaughter and a niece and nephew.

A wake will be held July 14. A memorial service is scheduled July 15 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, followed by a burial at McLarens Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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