KGUN 9NewsStatewide News


Ava Arpaio, wife of former MCSO Sheriff Joe Arpaio, dies after battle with cancer

Ava and Joe Arpaio
Posted at 5:19 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 08:19:29-04

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.

"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 former President Trump called my wife several times when she was fighting cancer," added Arpaio.

Celebrating my 63rd Valentine’s Day with my wife Ava. Hard to explain my love for Ava. However she is featured throughout my new book Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An American Legend.

Posted by Joe Arpaio on Sunday, February 14, 2021

"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 I'm very proud of the fact they liked my wife," said Arpaio.

The pair were married when he was sworn in as a federal agent in Chicago and Joe Arpaio says she was alongside him throughout his 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.