Lillian Somoza de Sevilla Sacasa, 82, who as the wife of the former Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States was a fixture of Washington's social and diplomatic scenes for three decades before her father, Anastasio Somoza, was toppled from power in 1979, died of congestive heart failure May 14 at Washington Hospital Center. She lived in Potomac.
Mrs. Sevilla and her husband, Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa, hosted myriad events at the then-Nicaraguan Embassy at 3200 Ellicott St. NW during his tenure as one of Washington's longest-serving dignitaries.
They were regulars of the Washington party circuit, forming relationships with eight U.S. presidents and their families. Mrs. Sevilla, the mother of nine children, created party dresses for President Richard M. Nixon's daughters, Julie and Patricia, traded recipes with Lady Bird Johnson and attended state dinners hosted by President John F. Kennedy.
Over the years, she supported philanthropic organizations and held fundraising bazaars to benefit the Salvation Army, the Society for the Prevention of Blindness and the international relief organization Project Hope.
When the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua ousted her father, she moved with her husband to Bethesda and later settled in Potomac. Her husband died in 1997.
Mrs. Sevilla was born in Leon, Nicaragua, the eldest daughter of Anastasio Somoza. She grew up in Managua and was about 15 when her grandfather seized control of the Central American country in a coup. For many years, her image was printed on Nicaraguan currency.
As a young woman, Mrs. Sevilla was crowned queen of the 1940 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Va. On one of her return trips to Nicaragua, she met her future husband, Sevilla-Sacasa, who at the time was a young lawyer and rising politician. They were married in 1942. Later that same year, he was appointed Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States.
Survivors include five sons, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United Nations Eduardo Jose Sevilla Somoza of New York, Guillermo Anastasio Sevilla Somoza of Miami, Alejandro Javier Sevilla Somoza of Great Falls, Bernardo David Sevilla Somoza of Bethesda and Luis Ramon Sevilla Somoza of Potomac; four daughters, Lillian Salvadora Sevilla Somoza of Miami, Julia Sevilla Hopping of Bethesda and Edda Maria Sevilla Somoza and Lorena Isabel Sevilla Somoza, both of Potomac; a brother; 22 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.