Gracie Lou Phillips, an 82-year-old North Texas woman who voted for the first time in her life last week, died surrounded by family members early Monday morning, her family confirms.
Phillips, who was transitioning to hospice care when she joined 4.8 million Texans who chose to vote early in the midterm election, had been battling pneumonia.
In a conversation with NBC 5 last week, Phillips’ granddaughters said a busy family life at an early age, and misconceptions about voting, kept Phillips away from the polls throughout her life.
“Her priority through life was her family,” said granddaughter Leslie Rene Moore.
Until last week.
“She finally registered to vote for the first time in her life,” said granddaughter Michelle Phillips. “She kept telling everybody ‘I’m voting. I’m going to vote this year and my vote counts.’”
They say political vitriol drove the great-grandmother to vote in Grand Prairie on Thursday, despite transitioning into hospice care.
“My aunt took her with her portable oxygen tank,” she said. “Poll people were very kind. They met her out at her car.”
Phillips’ proud moment was captured on video where she is seen holding an "I voted today" sticker, reading each word out loud.
“To have someone literally need oxygen to breathe, pure tank of oxygen to breathe, put it in her car and ask to go on what may very well be the last week of her life, that shows the dedication and priority that people need to look at,” said Phillips.
Phillips' family hopes her deed inspires others on Election Day.
“To know that her voice is going to be heard forever is really exciting for us and we’re really proud of her,” said Moore.