House Clerk Millie MacFarland of Augusta, who worked for the Maine Legislature for more than three decades, died Saturday following a battle with cancer.

“Her expertise and commitment to public service guided us all,” House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, said in a statement. “As clerk, she has been the unsung and quiet steady hand shepherding many of the laws that have shaped our state. We will all miss her at the rostrum, in the House Chamber, and in the halls of our great Capitol.”

MacFarland, 58, died Saturday of complications from cancer.

“We are all saddened to hear of the passing of Hon. Millie MacFarland,” Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, said in a prepared statement. “She brought honor and integrity to her three decades of service in the Maine House of Representatives. She will be remembered for her longstanding devotion to our state and our law-making process. She was a friend and mentor to many. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

MacFarland served in various capacities in the Maine House for more than 30 years, including eight years as assistant clerk and 12 years as clerk. She retired in 2010, but when Democrats took back the House in 2012, she returned to train her Democratic successor, former Rep. Robert Hunt of Yarmouth.

Visitors to the State House will recognize the clerk as the person in the front of the chamber who reads legislation and immediately is interrupted by the speaker. The process can be confusing to first-time visitors unfamiliar with parliamentary procedure, but it’s designed to ensure a smooth and fair process.

While the public sees the clerk only while the House is in session, the clerk is in charge of a 10-person office that must provide support services to the 151-member chamber. The clerk oversees the printing and distribution of bills, manages House personnel, orders stationery for legislators, compiles the daily calendar and is House parliamentarian. The staff organizes hundreds of schoolchildren who serve as pages throughout the year, writes sentiments that honor citizens for special milestones, delivers messages to member desks and ensures that the decorum of the chamber always is honored.

MacFarland was considered a national expert on parliamentary procedure, holding the office of President in the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries, according to Eves’ office. MacFarland is survived by her son, Nick MacFarland of Augusta, and her fiance, Patrick O’Donnell, clerk of the Nebraska Legislature.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a former Democratic state lawmaker who is running for governor, released a statement praising MacFarland for her integrity.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Millie’s family and loved ones during this difficult time,” Michaud said. “I have many fond memories of working with Millie while serving in the Maine Legislature and I’m fortunate for her friendship throughout the years. She was a woman of the highest integrity who cared deeply for her family, her work and the people of Maine. She will be deeply missed.”