Lucille Bridges, the mother of civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, has died at the age of 86 on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. The longtime New Orleans resident is remembered as the woman who encouraged her daughter to become the first Black student at an all-white elementary school in their hometown.

Lucille sparked one of the iconic scenes of the civil rights era when she comforted six-year-old Ruby during the historic moment, guiding her daughter through a hostile white crowd while going to school.

“Today our country lost a hero. Brave, progressive, a champion for change. She helped alter the course of so many lives by setting me out on my path as a six year old little girl," Ruby wrote on Instagram. "Our nation lost a Mother of the Civil Rights Movement today. And I lost my mom. I love you and am grateful for you. May you Rest In Peace.”