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Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, Widow Of George Shultz, Dies At 88 ; 'We Have Lost Our Grande Dame'

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, for decades the face of San Francisco as the city's chief of protocol and the widow of former Secretary of State George Shultz, has died after battling cancer. She was 88.

Stanlee Gatti, an events planner who worked with Shultz for decades, confirmed her death Friday morning at her Stanford home.

Shultz orchestrated the city's celebrations welcoming kings, queens and international dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II and then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

She served with many mayors. On Friday, current San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed said Shultz's was "a woman of unparalleled grace."

Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Getty Images
Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Getty Images

"Charlotte Shultz was a woman of unparalleled grace and generosity who loved San Francisco like no other," Breed said in a statement. "In her decades of work as Chief of Protocol she did more than connect our City with the Consular Corps and the countries they represent -- she showed the rest of the world what an incredible place San Francisco is and can be."

"She served as our host to diplomats, heads of state, and international leaders, and she outshone them all," Breed continued. "I am deeply saddened by the loss of such an incredible woman and friend, and my heart goes out to her family and friends. We have lost our Grande Dame. The bright lights of San Francisco are forever diminished with the loss of Charlotte, but her impact, legacy, and love will live with us for generation."

She was born in Borger, Texas, where her father ran the general store and came to San Francisco after college.

Mailliard met her first husband, John Ward Mailliard III, while living in the city. He died of cancer in 1986. In 1988, she married Melvin Swig, owner of the Fairmont Hotel, and the couple raised numerous funds for building the new San Francisco Public Library and other projects. Swig died in 1993.

Four years later, Mailliard married Shultz and the couple settled in Palo Alto. George Shultz died in February.

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