LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Funeral services will be held Saturday for Geraldine Washington, a prominent Los Angeles civil rights leader whose death was confirmed today by the local arm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Washington died last Thursday of natural causes at the age of 81, NAACP spokeswoman Joy Atkinson said. She had been ill for several years and suffered from a form of dementia, the spokewoman said.

Washington, who was president of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP for 14 years beginning in the mid-1990s, was known for her activism on education.

During her tenure as president, she worked to reverse declining enrollment of Blacks in the University of California system and pushed for local job training programs, Atkinson said.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called Washington “an outstanding educator and tireless advocate of equal opportunity for all students.”

“Her legacy of service to Los Angeles, its students and the community will live on through the many lives she touched,” Villaraigosa said.

Funeral services are scheduled for noon Saturday at the Second Baptist Church, 2412 Griffith Ave., Los Angeles.