Former Indiana first lady Patricia Whitcomb dies at 91


SEYMOUR, Ind. — Former Indiana first lady Patricia Whitcomb, whose husband, Republican Edgar Whitcomb, led the state from 1969 to 1973, has died at age 91.

Whitcomb died Sunday in the southern Indiana city of Seymour, her family said.

She graduated from Greenfield High School and Ward Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, before meeting Edgar Whitcomb, then a state senator, while working at an L.S. Ayres department store in Indianapolis. They had five children as Edgar Whitcomb’s law practice in the Seymour area grew and his political career advanced.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has directed flags across the state to be flown at half-staff in Whitcomb’s honor until sunset July 12. Holcomb said Whitcomb “served Hoosiers during her time as first lady with honor and grace.”

Patricia and Edgar Whitcomb divorced in 1987 after 36 years of marriage. Edgar Whitcomb, who escaped from a Japanese prisoner camp by swimming overnight during World War II, died in 2016 at age 98.

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