ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WBOC)- Former Maryland House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell has died.                    

Mitchell’s family announced his death on Friday. He was 83. The family says he died Thursday.           

Mitchell was a Democrat who served in the Maryland House of Delegates for 23 years. He was elected speaker by his House colleagues in 1987, and he served in the leadership role until he retired in 1992.           

He was a native of Chestertown, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore. He began his political career as a Kent County commissioner in 1966.           

He was elected to the Maryland House after serving one term as county commissioner. He represented Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.           

“Speaker Clay Mitchell was a man for whom I had tremendous respect and admiration. He dedicated his life to serving others and will always be remembered as an icon on the Eastern Shore. The prayers of Marylanders are with the Mitchell family during this difficult time,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. 

Last year, Hogan named the U.S. 50 bridge over the Kent Narrows after Mitchell.

The viewing will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fellows Family Funeral Home, 370 Cypress Ave. in Millington, Md. on Thursday, June 20, 2019. Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 21, 2019 beginning at the Fellows Family Funeral Home at 11 a.m. with internment subsequently at the Shrewsbury Church in Kennedyville, Md. 

In lieu of flowers, our family asks that a memorial donation be made in Mr. Mitchell’s name to Compass Regional Hospice, 160 Coursevall Drive, Centreville, MD 21617.

Maryland flags will fly at half-staff in honor of Mitchell until sunset on the day of his interment.

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