Pope Francis greets Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama Rivlin during a private audience at the Vatican, Nov. 15, 2018.
Pope Francis greets Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama Rivlin during a private audience at the Vatican, Nov. 15, 2018.

Nechama Rivlin, the wife of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, has died. She was 73.

The president's office announced Tuesday she had passed away of lung failure, three months after receiving a transplant. Nechama Rivlin had been ill for years, but still regularly appeared in public alongside her husband with a mobile oxygen device.

The Israeli presidency is a mostly ceremonial role. Nechama Rivlin was a popular first lady who focused on the arts, the environment and children with special needs.

Born in an Israeli farming community, she married the future president in 1971 and was a trusted adviser throughout his political career.

She is survived by her husband, three children and seven grandchildren.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed deep sorrow over her passing, lauding her “heroic” battle against her illness.

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