Source: Times Free Press | Staff | September 20, 2018

Researcher Martin Fleischmann, left, of the University of Southampton in England explains his fusion experiment to House Energy, Research and Development subcommittee chairwoman Marilyn Lloyd, D-Tenn., during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, April 26, 1989, Washington, D.C. Fleishmann teamed up with Utah chemist Stanley Pons to develop a cold-fusion process to produce energy. (AP Photo/Margot Ingoldsby)

Former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Lloyd, a Chattanooga Democrat who was the first woman elected to Congress from Tennessee for a full term, has died. She was 89.

“It is with great sadness and joy that we inform you that our mom, Marilyn Lloyd, has passed into eternity,” her family said in a statement. “Last night at 9:30 p.m., she peacefully slipped into the arms of Jesus. While we will miss her terribly, we know that she is at home with the Lord. Knowing that, we have incredible joy and look forward to being with her again. Thank you for your many prayers and encouraging words over the last three weeks.’

As news of her passing spread, lawmakers and those who knew her shared their condolences.

“My prayers are with the Lloyd family.” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said in a statement Thursday. “I thank Marilyn for her service to our great state in representing the wonderful people of Tennessee’s Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 years. While I am saddened by her passing, the legacy of Marilyn Lloyd will forever be part of East Tennessee history.”

“Marilyn Lloyd stepped up in tragic circumstances and made history,” U.S. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said. “I was lucky to serve with her in Congress. She was a terrific legislator whose legacy will live on across Tennessee. My thoughts are with her family.”

A research Complex at Oak Ridge National Laboratory was named in her honor and in a 1994 interview on C-SPAN, she talked about being a woman in a male-dominated institution.

“Women had to work so hard to prove they were as effective as their male counterpart when I was elected to Congress. [Today], you can see we are accepted as counterparts in the Congress. You can see how far we have progress, but I hope we do better in the next 20 years. I would think there would be more women [in Tennessee] who would think about coming to the Congress because I think it’s the greatest public service you can offer next to the ministry. But you have to very serious to get your point across — that you’re for real. First of all, she has to have the confidence in herself — that she can do it. You have to work hard and let everybody know this is something that you want to do because you want to be a public service. That’s the essence of your service.”

A funeral visitation will be at Chattanooga Church from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday with a celebration of life at 1 p.m. Sunday.