Peabody native and state Rep. Joyce Spiliotis died early this morning following a brief illness. She was 65.
Reports say she was at home with her family by her side, including her husband Dick Jarvis. News reports also say she had battled cancer, but largely kept her illness from colleagues and the public.
Spiliotis was first elected to the 12th Essex District seat in the House of Representatives in 2002 after serving as a Peabody city councilor and Library Trustee. She was just re-elected, unchallenged, to her sixth House term earlier this month.
"The city of Peabody has lost a true representative of the people with the passing of Joyce Spiliotis," said Mayor Ted Bettencourt in a statement this afternoon.
"I have known Joyce as a caring friend and trusted colleague for many years. As a city councilor and state representative, Joyce was a tireless advocate for her constituents. Her determination on their behalf was the hallmark of her career in public service – one which leaves a lasting legacy," Bettencourt said. "I offer my deepest sympathies to Joyce’s family during this extremely difficult time."
"The 'Peoples’ Joyce' will be greatly missed not only as an outstanding public servant, but also as a terrific wife, mother and friend," writes family friend and Jarvis' co-host on "You Make the Call," Bob Croce on his blog "Eye on Peabody."
"This is a very sad day for Peabody. We have lost a legendary public servant," Croce said.
You can leave remembrances of Spiliotis or condolences to her family here.