ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A woman who broke barriers serving in the North Carolina legislature by ascending to a top leadership position has died.
Former state Rep. Marie Colton died Tuesday at an Asheville retirement community at age 95. Liz Colton said her mother died after a period of declining health.
Colton was a Democrat elected to the House in 1978 and served there 16 years. In 1991, she became the first woman elected speaker pro tempore – the chamber’s No. 2-ranked official.
Colton worked as a translator during World War II for the Army Signal Corps. She had been a board member for Common Cause and appointee to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Colton’s husband of 68 years died in 2011.
– WSPA contributed to this report.