Memorial Service Set For Former Nevada First Lady

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A memorial service will held Thursday in Reno for former Nevada first lady Jackalyn Ross Laxalt.

The former wife of former governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt died Saturday in a Reno hospital where she had been undergoing treatment for respiratory problems. She was 77.

The service is scheduled for 10 a.m. at St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic Church.

Gov. Kenny Guinn on Monday remembered Laxalt as a true Nevadan who brought "both flair and a great sense of humor" to the governor's mansion.

Laxalt was born in Yerington and raised in Carson City, where her father was a prominent lawyer and later a federal judge.

After Paul Laxalt married Jackalyn Ross, he practiced law with her father and began his political career as one of the state's most popular elective officials by winning his first statewide race, for lieutenant governor, in 1962.

As the state's first lady from 1966 to 1970, Jackalyn Laxalt oversaw the refurbishing and remodeling of the governor's mansion. With their six children, the Laxalts were the largest family to occupy the mansion.

After her marriage of 25 years ended in divorce in 1972, Laxalt moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., where she overcame her alcoholism, and then spent many years in Arizona and Nevada counseling others with substance abuse problems, her family said.