BOSTON - State Rep. Joyce Spiliotis, a Peabody Democrat who has served in the House since 2003, passed away overnight, according to two of her colleagues. She was 65.
Spiliotis died after a battle with cancer, according to her House colleagues.
Rep. Bradford Hill, a good friend of Spiliotis, said he was “crushed” by the news of her death.
Hill commuted from the North Shore to the State House with Spiliotis for many years and said she kept her illness a secret. She was in the hospital during the last few days, he said.
“I didn’t know. She was very private about it,” he said. “She didn’t really tell anybody, which is a little surprising to me. She was so open and so frank in so many ways.”
“We had more fun on the way home, we laughed,” said Hill, a Republican from Ipswich. “She always had a laugh. We would call her a card. She was always fun to be around.”
Rep. Theodore Speliotis, a Danvers Democrat, said he knew she was not doing well, and thought she was in hospice care for some time.
“It is still quite a shock to see her go at 65 years old,” Speliotis said.
She was born and raised in Peabody, and lived there her whole life. She was Peabody City Councilor from 1994 until her election to the House in 2003. She was also worked at the Salem District Court, according to Hill.
Spiliotis was elected in 2002 to represent the House’s 12th Essex District and was unopposed when she won re-election earlier this month. She most recently served as the vice chair of the Municipalities and Regional Government Committee and also served on the Ways and Means, Global Warming and Climate Change and Consumer Protection committees.
The Peabody High School graduate is survived by her husband Richard Jarvis and two daughters, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. Services have not been announced yet.