The 97-year-old mother of iconic Marine general and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis passed away Sunday.
Lucille Marie Mattis, who lived most of her adult life in Richland, Washington, was born May 14, 1922, according to an obituary published in the Tri-City Herald.
While her son Jim Mattis served under President Donald Trump, he often came home to Washington state to see her, the Tri-City Herald reported.
Wildly popular among troops, the retired Marine Corps general was sworn in as defense secretary on Jan. 20, 2017, and announced his resignation on Dec. 20, 2018 ― one day after Trump ordered U.S. troops to be pulled from Syria.
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a farewell letter to all DoD personnel.
In her early 20s, Lucille Mattis lived in Washington, D.C., working as a civilian stenographer with the Army Military Intelligence Corps.
In 1942, “she moved into the newly completed Pentagon where among other tasks she typed up the plans for Operation Torch — the invasion of North Africa America’s first offensive campaign in the European" theater, according to her obituary.
She was then assigned to the Office of the Military Attache at the U.S. Legation in Pretoria, South Africa, her obituary states. It was on a ship journey through the Panama Canal around South America to South Africa that she met one of the ship’s mates, a Merchant Marine officer named West Mattis, whom she later married.
She “was a fiercely independent woman who exemplified the spirit of the women of her generation — shaped by the Great Depression, tempered and forever marked by their monumental contributions to our nation during the Second World War," her obituary states.
“She imparted to her family a love of reading and a curiosity about the world that endures.”
Jim Mattis is known for being a voracious reader and for his expansive personal library.
Lucille Mattis is survived by three sons, a daughter in law, two grandsons, a granddaughter in law and a great granddaughter, according to her obituary.
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: _andreascott.