Former U.S. Rep. Lane Evans of Illinois, a former Marine who fought for veterans' rights during his 24 years in office, has died after a long fight with Parkinson's disease.

His legal guardian and former congressional staffer Michael Malmstrom says Evans died Wednesday at a nursing home in East Moline, Illinois.

The Democrat was 63.

Evans was first elected from his western Illinois district in 1982, and went on to serve 12 terms.

Evans announced he wouldn't seek re-election in 2006, citing his deteriorating health. He left office in January 2007.

The Vietnam War-era veteran served overseas in Okinawa, Japan.

As a congressman, he fought for the rights of veterans, including pushing legislation to help those exposed to Agent Orange.

He is survived by his three brothers.