She was born in Columbia, Missouri, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is married and has four adult daughters: Tamara Copple, Kathleen Basi, Andrea Williamson, and Cecelia Cannon.
She is a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Randolph County Farm Bureau, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Pork Producers, Moberly Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri State Teachers Association, and Missouri Right to Life. She was appointed to the Missouri Rural Economic Development Council and to the Council of State Governments' Agriculture and Rural Policy Task Force for 2003-2004 and again for 2005-2006.
She was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002, winning reelection in 2004, 2006. and 2008. By Missouri law she was term limited from running again in 2010.
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