Tom Vilsack (file photo)

Sad news in the Vilsack family. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s granddaughter has died.

A spokesman for the family confirmed six-year-old Ella Vilsack died last night after a sudden illness. She is the daughter of Jess and Kate Vilsack. Jess Vilsack is an attorney in Des Moines who is the oldest son of Tom and Christie Vilsack.

News of the girl’s death has spread through the Vilsack’s hometown of Mount Pleasant and among the family’s friends and colleagues in Iowa and throughout the country.

(The initial version of this story included a reference to a cause of death that was incorrect. We deeply regret the error.)