Providence (AP) — Gov. Gina Raimondo on Tuesday directed state flags at all state agencies and buildings to be flown at half staff in honor of former Rhode Island first lady Virginia Coates Chafee.
The flags will remain lowered until sunset Wednesday, the day of burial.
Coates Chafee, the wife of one former Rhode Island governor and the mother of another, died Saturday at her home of natural causes, a family spokeswoman said. She was 93.
“Virginia Chafee was a dedicated wife, mother and friend,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “She was a proud environmentalist and champion of Rhode Island’s open spaces.”
Her late husband, John Chafee, served as Rhode Island governor in the 1960s and went on to represent the state as a Republican in the U.S. Senate for nearly 23 years. He died in 1999.
Lincoln Chafee, one of the couple's sons, was elected to his father's Senate seat and later served as Rhode Island's governor from 2011 until 2015.
Raimondo also asked private citizens to lower their flags to half staff as a mark of respect.