Friends and colleagues of veteran Westbrook state representative and city councilor Ann Peoples remembered her Wednesday as a dedicated and kind-hearted public servant to her city.

Peoples, 72, died Tuesday after several health struggles. She was serving simultaneously on the Westbrook City Council and her fifth term representing the city in the Maine House of Representatives. In addition to three terms on the council, Peoples had also served on the city planning board as well as with numerous civic groups.

“She has served most of her adult life in some capacity in public service to the city,” Westbrook city administrator Jerre Bryant said Wednesday evening. “It’s incredible that, in the past couple of years, she has served simultaneously as city councilor and the city’s representative” in the Legislature.

“She was very compassionate and was certainly very committed to her community and her state,” Bryant said. “She was wonderful to work with and to work for.”

Others who served with Peoples offered praise for her and condolences to her family after her death was announced, initially by the office of House Speaker Sara Gideon.

“Ann was a devoted public servant, a passionate advocate for her community, and a loving wife, mother and grandmother,” Gideon, D-Freeport, said in a statement. “Ann spent her life, including her time in the legislature, improving the lives of Mainers. Her passing is a tremendous loss to our state, and we will miss her deeply.”

Gov. Janet Mills, who served alongside Peoples in the House, said that her “devotion to the people of Westbrook shined in the halls of the State House.”

“Her fundamental belief in the power of public service inspired all those around her,” Mills said in a statement. “I have lost a cherished friend and the State of Maine has lost a fierce lawmaker who made our state a brighter, better place. I will miss her dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with Ann’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook, posted on Facebook that “it’s hard to imagine Westbrook without Ann Peoples.”

“She loved our city and gave us her heart and soul each and every day,” Gattine wrote. “In 2003 I sat next (to) Ann in my first term on the Westbrook City Council and then ten years later sat next to her in my first term in the Maine House. She was a strong, intelligent and caring leader with a great sense of humor who taught me so much. I will miss her dearly.”

Peoples served for years on the Legislature’s Transportation Committee and most recently on the Labor and Housing Committee. She continued that work outside of Augusta, serving in the past on committees of the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System and the Westbrook Housing Corporation.

Senate President Troy Jackson, an Allagash Democrat who served with Peoples in the House, described her as “a fierce advocate not just for the people of Westbrook but for working families all across this state.”

“She was an ardent supporter of fair labor practices and public education, a dedicated public servant and quite frankly, tough as nails,” Jackson posted on Twitter. “Rep. Peoples leaves behind an impressive legacy and her presence in the legislature will most certainly be missed.”

Comments are not available on this story.