HONOLULU (AP) - Jean Sadako King, the first woman elected lieutenant governor in Hawaii, has died. She was 87.
King died Sunday at her home in Honolulu after a bout with pancreatic cancer, said her granddaughter, Tina Lance.
All three of King's grandchildren who live locally were with her when she died, Lance said. King's children preceded her in death, Lance said.
King served in the state House and the state Senate before running for lieutenant governor in 1978, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. She served as lieutenant governor under former Gov. George Ariyoshi from 1978 to 1982.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement that King was a "true pioneer" and he fondly remembered the time they served together in the Legislature.
"Throughout the years, she remained a steadfast advocate for peace and the environment, unwavering in her recognition of our responsibility as stewards of Hawaii's natural resources," the governor said.
King will be remembered for paving the way for many young women aspiring to a future in politics, said Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.
Former Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz called King a "trailblazing leader" and hailed her work on the state Sunshine Law, the Shoreline Protect Act and her "constant compassion for the downtrodden."
Lance said the family is tentatively planning to hold a public service for King at Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu on Dec. 28.