COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statement on the passing of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole Sunday.
DeWine served in the Senate with Dole from 1994 to 1996, when Dole resigned to seek the presidency.
DeWine’s full statement reads:
“We just heard that our friend, former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, has died. A few weeks ago, Fran and I received a surprise call from Elizabeth and him. When I entered the Senate, he was the Senate Leader. He was a courageous, tough, strong, and compassionate man, who loved his country deeply.
“He was grievously wounded in Italy during World War II and was lucky to have survived those devastating injuries at all. He was bedridden — his body wracked by pain. He could hardly even move.
“But, he knew that we have to work if we’re going to succeed. And, he worked. He worked through the pain and the rebuilding — and he became one of America’s most important leaders in of the last half-century.
“Even after he left the Senate, he never stopped working. He led the efforts to see to it that the brave men and women who fought so valiantly for our nation during WWII are honored with a national memorial. He turned the plans for that memorial into a reality. I have talked to WWII veterans who made the ‘honor flight’ to Washington to visit the memorial, who were both surprised and delighted to be greeted there by Bob Dole, himself!
“When he was running for President, Fran and I have a very fond memory campaigning with Senator Dole and Elizabeth on the campaign bus with our young daughter Anna and the Oak Ridge Boys. It was an amazing experience that we will never forget.
“Bob Dole was all about making a difference and changing things for the better. He had a ‘let’s get it done’ attitude. When we talked to him the last time, he still had that same zest for life and strong spirit that I always saw when I served with him.
“Today, America has lost a hero and a statesman, and Fran and I will dearly miss our friend. Bob Dole was a man of indisputable integrity, honor, and leadership, and I am proud and honored to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from this extraordinary man.
“We send our love to Elizabeth and his daughter Robin.”Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Dole’s wife Elizabeth announced his death Sunday at the age of 98.