Former NC legislative leader Colton dies at 95

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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.

Click or tap here to read Colton’s obituary

WSPA contributed to this report.

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