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Astronaut John Glenn’s wife died Tuesday of COVID-19 at age 100.

Annie Glenn died at a nursing home near St. Paul, Minnesota, said Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

She moved to Minnesota where her daughter lived.

John Glenn, who died in 2016 at the age of 95, also was a U.S. senator. The couple had been married for 73 years.


FILE – In this 2016 file photo, Annie Glenn arrives to view the casket of her husband famed astronaut John Glenn as he lies in honor, in Columbus, Ohio. Glenn, the widow of astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn and a communication disorders advocate, died May 19, of COVID-19 complications at a nursing home near St. Paul, Minn., at age 100. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The couple had been playmates when they were children and were high school sweethearts, said her biography by the John & Anne Glenn Museum in Ohio. They were married after John Glenn received his commission in the Marines on April 6, 1943.

Annie Glenn was thrust into the spotlight in 1962, when her husband became the first American to orbit Earth. She shied away from media attention because of a severe stutter.

Later, she underwent an intensive program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College, now Hollins University, in Roanoke, Virginia, that helped her control her stutter and speak in public.

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By the time 77-year-old John Glenn returned to space in 1998 aboard space shuttle Discovery, Annie Glenn seemed more comfortable in her public role. She acknowledged that she had reservations about the retired senator’s second flight.

In this Feb. 3, 1962 file photo, astronaut John Glenn poses with his wife, Annie, outside their Arlington, Va., home during his first news conference.  (AP Photo/Bob Schutz, File)

“John had announced one year before that he was going to retire as a senator, so I was looking forward to having him as my own because I had given him to our government for 55 years,” she told a NASA interviewer.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m ET June 6. It will be officiated by the Rev. Amy Miracle, pastor for the Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus. The memorial will be virtual with no parishioners or guests in attendance due to the COVID-19 restrictions.


FILE – In this 2015, file photo, former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, left, answers questions with his wife, Annie Glenn, during an interview with The Associated Press at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

She is survived by her two children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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