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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Former state Sen. Jean Berkey dies at 74

Former Washington state Sen. Jean Berkey has died at the age of 74.

Donald Berkey said Tuesday that his wife passed away on Aug. 21 at their home near Deception Pass following a brief illness. Jean Berkey served a decade in the Legislature before losing in a 2010 primary election.

Berkey was born Aug. 22, 1938 in Loma Linda, Calif. She moved to the Everett area as a young girl and eventually received a business degree from the University of Washington.

Democratic Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens said in a statement that Berkey was an advocate for seniors, open government, affordable health care and education. He said she was a moderate who helped provide an effective voice of reason in what can be an overly partisan environment.

A public memorial service will be held for Berkey on Sept. 14 at Everett Station.

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