The Lead

Former Pa. First Lady Ellen Casey has died

By: - August 11, 2023 2:46 pm
Pennsylvania Capitol Building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

(Photo by Amanda Berg for the Capital-Star)

Ellen Casey, Pennsylvania’s former first lady and mother to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey died in Scranton Friday morning.

Casey, 91, died at Regional Hospital in Scranton following an undisclosed illness, according to a statement from Sen. Casey’s office. 

“Our mother, Ellen Harding Casey, died peacefully this morning at Regional Hospital, Scranton after a brief illness,” Casey, D-Pa., said. “We are mourning the loss of our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was the center of our family, and we are deeply saddened by this loss.”

Ellen Casey served as first lady of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995 while her husband, Bob Casey Sr., who died in 2000, served as the commonwealth’s 42nd governor. 

First Lady Lori Shapiro expressed her condolences to the Casey family in a statement Friday.

“On behalf of our entire family, Josh and I send our prayers and condolences to the Casey Family on the passing of First Lady Ellen Casey.

“Ellen was an ambassador for the Commonwealth and her beloved home of Scranton. Like Governor Casey, she made family, health, and children part of her life’s work. Her work to raise awareness around breast cancer, literacy, and so much more made the lives of countless Pennsylvanians better.

“We are grateful to Ellen for her dedication to the people of Pennsylvania. May her memory be a blessing for her family and all of us who benefited from her service,” the statement reads.

Gov. Josh Shapiro has ordered all U.S. and Commonwealth flags on all Commonwealth facilities and public buildings to immediately fly at half-staff in honor of the former first lady.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.