NEWPORT, R.I. — Nuala Pell, widow of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell and a patron of the arts, has died.

Her grandson, Clay Pell, praised her on Sunday for her support of the arts, education, and her humanitarian service. He said the family could not have asked for a better parent or grandparent.

Sen. Jack Reed called Nuala Pell, who died over the weekend, an “extraordinary woman.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said Pell was a passionate advocate for the arts and humanities.

And Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Nuala Pell spent more than half a century in public service alongside her husband.

Claiborne Pell, who represented Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate for 36 years, retired in 1997. He died in 2009.

Details of her death were not immediately available Sunday.