Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 28, 2015

Posts in "Obituaries"

April 1, 2015

Col. John G. Keliher, Arms-Control Pioneer, Dead at 82

Colonel John Graham Keliher, during his time working for Congressman Dave McCurdy, D – Okla. in the 1980s.

Col. John Graham Keliher during istoriis time working for Rep. Dave McCurdy, D-Okla., in the 1980s.

Col. John Graham Keliher, an Army veteran, former Hill staffer and Department of Energy employee, died on March 7. He was 82.

With his drive, experience and education, Keliher was for years an invaluable resource in Washington efforts to limit nuclear proliferation, secure arms-control agreements and define national security policies. Full story

March 23, 2015

Former Rep. Robert Kastenmeier Dies at Age 91

Former Rep. Robert Kastenmeier, a Wisconsin Democrat who represented the Badger State’s 2nd District for 32 years, died March 20 in Arlington, Va. He was 91.

Kastenmeier, a World War II Army veteran, served as a War Department claims service officer in the Philippines after the war and as a justice of the peace in Wisconsin before being elected to the House in 1958.  He served in the House from 1959-1991, tumultuous years that ranged from the end of legalized segregation to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon and the Vietnam War, for which he was an early and vocal opponent. Full story

February 18, 2015

Former Rep. Cass Ballenger Dies at 88

Ballenger, seen here in a 2002 photo from our archives, left Congress a decade ago. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ballenger, seen here in a 2002 photo from the Roll Call archives, left Congress a decade ago. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated Feb. 20 | Former North Carolina Rep. Cass Ballenger, a pro-business conservative and Republican ally of Hugo Chavez known for his off-the-cuff comments, died Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 88.

A former plastics executive, Ballenger spent 38 consecutive years in elected office, and served as the standard-bearer for the GOP on labor issues during his nine terms in Congress.

Full story

February 6, 2015

Rep. Alan Nunnelee Dies at Age 56

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 8:30 p.m. | Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., the stalwart social conservative who spearheaded efforts to ban same-sex marriage in the Magnolia State, died Friday from complications from brain cancer, his spokeswoman confirmed to CQ Roll Call. He was 56.

“Congressman Alan Nunnelee has gone home to be with Jesus. He was well loved and will be greatly missed,” read a statement from his family.

In May, doctors found a tumor in the right side of Nunnelee’s brain after he was complaining of fatigue. He underwent brain surgery in June to remove the mass, and suffered a stroke during the procedure, which left him with impaired speech and numbness in his left side. On Jan. 26, doctors moved Nunnelee into hospice care at his home in Tupelo, Miss., after they found another tumor had formed and no further treatment was possible. Full story

July 29, 2014

Former Rep. M. Caldwell Butler Dies at 89 (Video)

Former Rep. M. Caldwell Butler, a Virginian congressman who came to office in the midst of President Richard M. Nixon’s impeachment, died early Tuesday. He was 89.

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. House of Representatives

The Republican served Virginia’s 6th district from 1972 to 1983 and was a member of the Judiciary Committee. It was on that panel, that he voted, as a freshman, to impeach Nixon following the Watergate scandal. Out of the committee’s 17 Republicans, Butler was one of the six to join committee Democrats in recommending impeachment.

Butler’s wife, June, died last month.

The Judiciary Committee recognized the loss of the Roanoke congressman Tuesday, with Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., announcing Butler’s passing.

Goodlatte, the current representative for Virginia’s sixth district, remembered Butler as “a public servant in the truest sense of the word.”

“He was a friend of everyone who knew him and someone who I had great respect,” Goodlatte said. “He will be badly missed.”

At Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, ranking member John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., recalled serving alongside Butler on Judiciary, regularly exchanging views.

“Our friendship was never impaired by the different perspectives that we had on how government should run,” Conyers said.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., also remembered Butler, calling him “a man of tremendous principle.”

Butler graduated with a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1950 and practiced law in Roanoke. He served in Virginia’s House of Delegates from 1962 to 1971.

June 19, 2014

‘Ms. Ethics’ Carol Dixon Remembered Fondly (Video)

Carol E. Dixon, director of advice and education for the House Committee on Ethics, died Monday from unknown causes. She was 44.

Dixon had worked at the committee for 11 years. Family and colleagues described her as an excellent baker, devoted aunt, passionate Michigan football fan and sharp legal mind. The leftovers from her famous Christmas parties were the highlight of every holiday season.

Dixon found joy in helping members navigate complicated ethical questions. “She wanted everyone to be their best self. … She really wanted to make a difference. That was important to her,” her cousin and close friend Mary Raihman told CQ Roll Call.

“I think [Dixon] chose ethics because she wanted to be a part of making the institution great and helping particularly young staffers and new members understand the complex rules that they then had to follow,” said Kelle Strickland, chief of staff to Rep. Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas. Strickland added that her close colleague was “very generous and trustworthy. She worked on the ethics committee and knew how to keep a secret.”

Stephen Dixon told CQ Roll Call his daughter “really cared about what she did. She cared about ethics and she was proud of what she did. .. [She was] really devoted to making the Congress a better place.”

Staffers inside and outside the committee say Dixon’s discretion and meticulous attention to detail made her an invaluable counselor and confidant.

Full story

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