July 7 (UPI) -- Joan Lee, wife of Marvel comics icon Stan Lee, has died at the age of 93.
"I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family," a spokesperson for Stan said in a statement. "The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time."
Joan suffered a stroke recently and was hospitalized, noted The Hollywood Reporter citing sources.
Joan, a former British hat model, married Stan on Dec. 5, 1947. Together they had two children, J.C. (Joan Celia) in 1950 and Jan, who died three days after her birth in 1953.
Stan has credited Joan for helping inspire the Fantastic Four, the writer's first hit comic book at Marvel, that led to the creations of the company's cast of signature characters including the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and the X-Men with Jack Kirby, and Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Steve Ditko.
Marvel comics shared their condolences in a statement, writing, "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."
DC comics also paid tribute to Joan by describing how Stan met the love of his life. "Of all the great stories Stan Lee has to tell, the most touching is of the day he met Joan, the British model who would become his future wife. Instantly smitten, Stan proposed the first day of their meeting, beginning a beautiful, enviable life together for nearly seven decades. Everyone at DC is truly saddened to hear of the passing of Joan Lee and our hearts go out to Stan and his family in this time of loss," DC comics wrote on Twitter.