BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — Dora Jean Edwards, the mother of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, has passed away.

In a statement released on Friday morning, the governor paid tribute to his mother, who he says worked several years as a nurse and teacher while raising eight children. She made the best red beans and rice and was a devout Catholic, Edwards said.

“She was the matriarch of our family and, along with my late father Frank, the reason why I am the person I am today,” Governor Edwards added. “While my family is grieving, we also take comfort in the fact that she is once again with my father and her husband of 57 years, as well as my brother Chris. There have been many times that I’ve asked you to join your prayers to mine. Today, I hope you will lift my family up in prayer as we mourn this loss but also celebrate my Mama’s remarkable life.”

She was 87, according to the Associated Press.