Lura Lynn Died With Ryan By Her Side

Lura Lynn Ryan checked into Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee last Friday

By Ivanna Hampton and Natalie Martinez
|  Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011  |  Updated 8:14 PM CDT
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Former Gov. Jim Thompson remembers Lura Lynn Ryan, who died Monday night.

Former Gov. Jim Thompson remembers Lura Lynn Ryan, who died Monday night.

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Lura Lynn Ryan died Monday night with her husband, former Illinois Governor George Ryan, by her side.

Ryan, who was living with terminal lung cancer, checked into Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee last Friday. She was relying on a respirator to help her breathe, her husband's attorney and former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson said.

The family decided Monday night to take her off the respirator with everyone there. Ryan passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside, Thompson told NBC Chicago.
 

George Ryan is serving his 6 ½ year sentence at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. for corruption. 
 
Ryan petitioned an appellate court to allow him to visit his wife of 50 years, but the court denied his request. A prison warden then temporarily freed him so he could be with his wife one last time.
 
Ryan’s doctors gave her hours to live when she was hospitalized in January.

Thompson said the family will hold a private funeral soon and a memorial service when Ryan is released from prison.

Gov. Pat Quinn in a statement praised Ryan for her dedication to "those whose voices weren’t heard."

"She inspired many with her strength and grace throughout her fight against cancer," Quinn said. “Her passing is a loss to the people in Illinois.”

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