PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh and his wife Virginia spent 25 years in Washington, D.C. Some of his best memories were from his days as the Attorney General in 1988 on President Ronald Reagan’s cabinet.

He had a chance to get to know First Lady Nancy Reagan.

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“She was a lovely lady a combination of style and grace that you don’t often find in women other than your wives,” he said.

Nancy Reagan was often called the quintessential First Lady. She was her husband’s biggest fan and strongest supporter.

“You better not say anything nasty or even half nasty about Ronald Reagan when she was around,” Thornburgh said. “She had a tough quality to her. I would refer to her as having a spine of steel.”

Virginia Thornburgh cherishes the picture she took shaking hands with Nancy Reagan at one of the many White House dinners.

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“She was so lovely, and she didn’t do a quick handshake she would have said something like ‘I’m so glad to see you,'” she said.

Former Allegheny County executive Jim Roddey met Nancy Reagan when she attended a special event in Pittsburgh promoting her anti-drug campaign. Roddey was president of the Outdoor Advertisers Association of America, who hung billboards around the country supporting Mrs. Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs.

“She was gracious she was down to earth she made you feel welcome and she you feel like you were just as important as she was,” Roddey said. “We were proud to be apart of the administration, proud to interact with such a classy couple.”

Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. She was 94.

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