Missouri’s first woman sheriff has died at the age of 98.

Helen Church died at Crystal Oaks Skilled Care and Assisted Living in Crystal City. She had suffered congestive heart failure.

After her husband, Jefferson County Sheriff Leo Church, died from injuries suffered when struck by a wrong-way driver on the first of May in 1960, Church was appointed to serve the remaining 7-and-a-half months of his term, the first woman to become county sheriff in Missouri. She did not seek election, but decided instead to work as a dispatcher for the office the next 23 years.