LaHood, others remember life of former US House Minority Leader Bob Michel

By Blake Schnitker on February 17 at 12:24pm

Several state politicians are saddened by the passing of former U.S. House Minority Leader and Illinois-native Bob Michel.

WLDS-WEAI News spoke with Illinois’ 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood, whose father Ray LaHood served as Michel’s administrative assistant and subsequently chief of staff.

LaHood says Michel lived an extraordinary life and has strong ties to Central Illinois.

“It’s a sad day for Central Illinois with the passing of Bob Michel. He had a tremendous life in public service and has been a mentor to me and a lot of other people. He was born and raised in Peoria, he stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II, was wounded and received a Purple Heart. He came back to Central Illinois, graduated from Bradley University and then had a tremendous career in Congress, serving 38 years,” says LaHood.

LaHood says Michel will be remembered for his exemplary public service, and an example all Congressmen can follow.

“Really what Bob Michel, I think, is known for is his uncommon decency and his Midwestern values. He always tried to work in a civil way in Congress, to work with both sides in a bipartisan way, but was also a very conservative Republican who stood for strong principles. Frankly, his uncommon decency and common sense values are missed today. He’s an example for anyone in public service,” says LaHood.

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, a Republican for Illinois’ 13th District, also released a statement, saying that he is “deeply saddened” by the news and called Michel “one of the most respected members of Congress of all time.”

Also releasing a statement was U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, who referred to Michael as “the face of decency and public service.”