12/17/2012 01:20 EST | Updated 02/16/2013 05:12 EST

Pioneer for women in N.L. provincial politics dies at age 79

The first post-Confederation female member of Newfoundland and Labrador's legislature has died after a long battle with Alzheimers.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale offered condolences to the family of 79-year-old Hazel McIsaac today, and said McIsaac helped to pave the way for women in provincial politics.

Born in Robinsons in 1933, McIsaac worked at Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville and managed two local businesses.

She won her seat on Sept. 16, 1975, becoming the Liberal representative for the riding of St. George's.

One of two provincial ferries built last year has been named after McIsaac, honouring her pioneering role in political life.