Stan Lee
via Gage Skidmore / CC-BY-2.0

Joan Lee, wife of Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, died on Thursday (July 6). She was 93 years old.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Joan suffered a stroke earlier in the week and was hospitalized before passing away on Thursday morning.

Stan married Joan back in 1947. During their 70-year marriage, the couple had two children together. One, however, passed away shortly after being born.

Joan was a former British hat model, when she met Stan when he came to her store to ask another girl on a date. In a 2016 story for The Hollywood Reporter, Stan recalled meeting his wife for the first time.

“When I got out of the Army, somebody, a cousin of mine, knew a model, a hat model at a place called Laden Hats. He said, ‘Stan, there’s this really pretty girl named Betty. I think you’d like her. She might like you. Why don’t you go over and ask her to lunch.’ Blah, blah, blah.

“So I went up to this place. Betty didn’t answer the door. But Joan answered, and she was the head model. I took one look at her — and she was the girl I had been drawing all my life. And then I heard the English accent. And I’m a nut for English accents! She said, ‘May I help you?’ And I took a look at her, and I think I said something crazy like, ‘I love you.’ I don’t remember exactly. But anyway, I took her to lunch. I never met Betty, the other girl. I think I proposed to [Joan] at lunch.”

Marvel released a statement about Joan’s death on Thursday, saying: “We are so saddened to hear about the loss of Joan Lee. We lost a member of the Marvel family today and our thoughts and prayers go out to Stan and his daughter Joan in this difficult time.”