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Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's wife Ava dies after 3-year cancer battle

Ava Arpaio was just shy of turning 90, according to Joe Arpaio's spokesman.

PHOENIX — Ava Arpaio, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's wife, has died following a 3-year battle with cancer. 

According to a spokesman for the Arpaio family, Ava was just shy of her 90th birthday. She and Joe Arpaio were married for more than 63 years. 

"I'm going to miss her dearly," Sheriff Arpaio said. 

Joe and Ava Arpaio met on a blind date when Joe was a young police officer in Washington, D.C. 

Watch Joe Arpaio's full interview with 12 News after his wife's passing:

"Whatever he wants to do, I will be doing it with him. If he wanted to be a garbage collector, I would help him pick up the garbage," Ava Arpaio said once during an interview. 

Together the couple shared two children and four grandchildren. 

Arpaio's husband served as the sheriff of Arizona's most populous county for 24 years. His stint as sheriff had some controversy.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office released the following statement about Ava's passing: 

"The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office sends heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Ava Arpaio after she lost her battle with cancer earlier today. May she Rest In Peace. Our sincerest condolences to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio."

Ava Arpaio's visitation will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Queen of Heaven Catholic Funeral Home in Mesa. A vigil and rosary will take place at 6 p.m. Space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions but the event will be live streamed

The funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa. Space is also limited due to COVID-19 restrictions but another live stream will take place.

Ava will be buried at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale.