Former South Carolina First Lady Iris Campbell has passed away after a brief illness, her family announced Tuesday.
She was the wife of former Gov. Carroll Campbell, who led the state from 1987 until 1995. She passed in her sleep at her home on DeBordieu Beach at 77 years old.
Gov. Campbell’s former chief of staff Bob McAlister announced her passing in a brief statement. “She accepted and embraced her role as Mrs. Carroll Campbell,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “Were it not for Iris Campbell, Carroll would not have accomplished everything that he did.”
Iris and Carroll were “high school sweethearts” who married at a young age in 1959, McAlister said. She helped him through his time in Congress and eventually the Governor’s Office at a time when Republicans were the minority party in South Carolina.
Mrs. Campbell dedicated her public life towards fighter Alzheimer’s disease after the former governor’s death while fighting it in 2005.
“Peggy and I are heartbroken to hear of the passing of Iris Campbell.” Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement issued by his office. “We loved her. We were blessed to have called her and her late husband friends, and will miss her dearly. This loss leaves us saddened, but also grateful to know that she is reunited with Carroll and that they are both resting well with their Lord and Savior.”
The couple are survived by their two sons, Michael and Carroll A. Campbell, III. They also have four grandchildren.
No funeral arrangements have yet been announced.