The couple was married for 44 years and had one son, John Miles.
In his memoirs, John Lewis credited his wife with helping launch his political career, which began with an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1977.
“She was outgoing, involved, intelligent and great in front of an audience — she could make a speech,” Lewis wrote. “She also knew how to organize, how to chair a meeting, the nitty-gritty stuff. When she finally said, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s go for it,’ that was enough. We were in.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used Twitter to convey her condolences, calling Lillian Lewis “a smart and caring woman” and “a champion for justice.”