John O’Connor III, the husband of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, died Wednesday in Phoenix of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, according to an announcement from the Court. He was 79.

O’Connor, an accomplished lawyer in his own right, worked with Miller & Chevalier and Bryan Cave after his wife was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981. He was a familiar figure at the Court, and once said that his life had become “vastly broadened and vastly enriched by her appointment.” Early in her tenure, to his amusement, some who were not accustomed to a woman on the Court addressed John O’Connor as Justice O’Connor.