Pat Fordice dies at 72

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Former Mississippi first lady Pat Fordice died today (Thursday) at her home in Madison after battling cancer. She was 72.

Fordice had announced in December that she had cancer. She has declined to be interviewed about her treatment and would not say what kind of cancer she had.

Family spokeswoman Stacey Hight told The Associated Press this morning that arrangements are pending.

Hight said Fordice was surrounded by family at the time of her death. She is survived by four children and many grandchildren.

Fordice's ex-husband, Kirk Fordice, served as governor from 1992-to-2000. The Fordices divorced in 2000 after 44 years of marriage. Kirk Fordice died of leukemia in 2004 at age 70.

In November 2005, Fordice resigned as the city of Jackson's interim head of human and cultural services. At the time, Fordice said the full-time job was more demanding than she believes she could handle.

Pat Fordice was co-host of a program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. She also appeared in a series of commercials for Keep Mississippi Beautiful and the Mississippi Department of Transportation as part of its anti-littering campaign.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)