PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's wife, Ava Arpaio, has died after her battle with cancer, according to MCSO.
MCSO says Ava died Saturday at 89 years old after she was diagnosed with cancer in early 2016.
Officials with MCSO took to Twitter Sunday to offer their condolences to the family.
Former MCSO spokesman Chris Hegstrom tells ABC15, Ava passed away Saturday, not Sunday as MCSO reported in their tweet.
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.— Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (@mcsoaz) March 22, 2021
ABC15 spoke with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sunday following Ava's passing.
"I'm not feeling very well. I've been married to my wife for 63 years, we just celebrated our 63rd years of marriage on December 22. She's been the love of my life, she's always supported and defended me doing my 57 years in law enforcement, and she's always made sure that our two children and I were always happy," said Arpaio.
He also says former President Donald Trump contacted him to offer his condolences.
"I know the people around the country loved her and stood by my wife over the years, and even the former President Trump called my wife several times when she was fighting cancer," added Arpaio.
"I know she's in heaven, and I'll never forget her. And it's very difficult for me to talk but, a lot of people didn't like me but... very proud of the fact they liked my wife," said Arpaio.
The pair got married when he was sworn in as a federal agent in Chicago and Joe Arpaio says she was alongside him throughout almost his whole life in law enforcement.
"My wife would do anything for me. We lived in Turkey and Mexico, South America when I was head of the federal drug enforcement... She even helped me on my cases... whatever I needed she would do it and she was just a beautiful person in and out and she supported me," said Arpaio.