William Lockridge, a member of the D.C. State Board of Education, died Wednesday from respiratory failure. He was 63.

On Friday, Lockridge was admitted to the intensive care unit of George Washington University Hospital, where he was on life support, after suffering a stroke.

A candelight vigil was held outside his hospital window earlier this week.

"We thank the residents of the District, and our Ward 8 family, for uplifting William in prayer at Monday night's vigil," family spokeswoman Natalie Williams said.

Lockridge was elected to the board in 1998, when it was called the D.C. Board of Education. He was the former president of the the Ward 8 Democrats and active with the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

The Washington Post's Valerie Strauss reports on Lockridge's relationship with the community: "A longtime resident of the area, Mr. Lockridge prided himself on meeting often with community residents and liked to say, 'I listen, and I am accessible.'  He was also seen as a man of contradictions, described in a 1988 Washington Post story as 'an avenging angel to some, an unrepentant mischief-maker to others; one minute ready to slug a colleague, the next minute opening his home and his checkbook to a needy student.'"