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Our loved and respected former First Lady of Illinois Maggie Daley passed away yesterday from complications related to metastatic breast cancer.

The news is full of the story. What sticks with me most in the repeated images is her gracious smile. That’s the way I will remember her. The graciousness in how she lived her role alongside Mayor Richard M. Daley as First Lady, the graciousness in how she implemented and supported educational and career-oriented programs for teens, the graciousness in which she lived nearly a decade with cancer.

I saw her in person last year at the Goodman Theater. She, with her broad smile and dignified carriage, walked on stage pushing her walker. You would not know she must have been in pain. As I watched her, I hoped that if faced with her long illness I would have her fortitude.

On Sunday, she will lie in state at the Chicago Cultural Center. At one time, she  helped save it from demolition. It seems only fitting that she will now be viewed by thousands at this building, the former Chicago Public Library, with its magnificent Tiffany domes and marble interiors.

It’s around 10pm and I just ran over and took some pictures.

black and purple buntings surround the Doric columns

preparing for tonight's newscast

all chicago TV stations stand in readiness

A crowd of us were watching from across the street. From the glances we gave each other, I think each of us was saying a prayer for the family of our former mayor who served the City of Chicago from 1989-2011.

Former First Lady Maggie Daley attended the wedding of her daughter, originally scheduled for New Year’s Eve, just eight days ago.

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