BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) — State Sen. Linda Scheid, who taught overseas before embarking on a three decade career in the Minnesota Legislature, died Wednesday. She was 68.
Scheid, who had been in home hospice care after a bout with ovarian cancer, died at her home in Brooklyn Park, Scheid’s sister, Becky Longabaugh, said.
Her son, Scott Denver Scheid, posted on his mother’s Facebook page that she wasn’t in pain and enjoyed the last weeks of her life surrounded by cherished family and friends.
“My best friend … the one who not only gave me life — but did more to give my life meaning — along with everyone she touched, slipped away this afternoon,” he wrote. “We love you very much mom … you were a blessing to everyone who knew you.”
Scheid was elected to the House in 1976 to represent Brooklyn Center. She won a seat in the Senate a decade later and was most recently re-elected last year. She had a bachelor’s degree from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, The Star Tribune reported.
But it was her time in the Peace Corps, teaching English in Ethiopia in the 1960s, that led her to politics. The newspaper wrote that Scheid, in response to a candidate questionnaire in 2006, wrote: “As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia in the ’60s I felt called to public service. My values continue to be family and community.”
Scheid was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and had been undergoing treatment off and on since then. Early last month, after consulting with doctors and family, she decided to stop chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer.
“Scheid never viewed her cancer diagnosis as a `battle’ or a `fight’ with the disease, but that it was just part of her life’s journey. Over the last month, Linda spent much of her time surrounded by family and friends at home and very much enjoyed reading all the memories and well wishes shared on her Caring Bridge and Facebook pages,” Senate DFL Caucus spokesman Beau Berentson said in a statement Wednesday night.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement calling Scheid “smart, hard-working, and independent.”
“Linda always did what she believed was right and what was best for the people she served. She will be missed by all of us,” Dayton said.
Funeral plans were pending. A memorial celebration — planned by Scheid — will be held later.
The family set up a scholarship fund in her name at Brooklyn Center High School.
Donations can be made to:
BCHS/Linda Scheid Scholarship Fund
6500 Humboldt Avenue North
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55430