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Oklahomans remember Henry Bellmon

Oklahoman Modified: September 30, 2009 at 4:24 am •  Published: September 30, 2009
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House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa: "Governor Bellmon was uniquely Oklahoman, a self-reliant man who never flinched from the call of duty. He served his nation as a soldier in a time of world war. He led Oklahoma Republicans out of the wilderness in the 1960s. And, as governor and U.S. senator, he served our state and nation as a statesman.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: "I had the pleasure and privilege of serving as state Republican chairman when he was elected for the second time as governor. Later, I served in the state Senate during his administration. Henry Bellmon led on every issue with courage, commitment, integrity and an unwavering sense of optimism about Oklahoma and its future.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City: "Henry Bellmon is a giant in Oklahoma history. He served his country, his state and his family with great honor and always with humility. He leaves a legacy of service to which any public official would and should aspire.”

Gary Jones, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party: "We here at the Oklahoma Republican Party are saddened to hear of the passing of Governor Henry Bellmon. Governor Bellmon was first and foremost a gentleman, always putting the best interest of the state above all. Governor Bellmon energized the Oklahoma Republican Party by showing that hard work and the Oklahoma pioneer spirit that he learned on the farm could take you a long way in life.”

U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa: "My earliest memories of being involved in the political process are going out with my father to put up signs for Henry Bellmon. Throughout his distinguished career as our governor and Unites States senator, Henry Bellmon represented the very ideals that make Oklahoma and our nation so great.”

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City: "Henry Bellmon was an inspiration to three generations of Oklahoma leaders. ... From his service as a Marine in World War II, through two terms as governor and two more as United States senator, Henry Bellmon was a shining example to all of us that politics and public service can and should attract the best among us.”

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee: "There are few lives that could paint a better portrait of the Oklahoma spirit than the life of Henry Bellmon. He committed his life to his country and the state of Oklahoma. Bellmon bravely defended this nation as a Marine in some of the toughest battles of WWII. As a governor and senator, he was an independent man who stood for what he believed was right.”

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne: "He was a very sincere, very dedicated, very focused leader. I was a second-generation Bellmon guy. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know Henry Bellmon. He told me not to ever give up my farm because ‘that is who you are.’”

State Senate Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb, R- Edmond: "Upon learning of Governor Bellmon’s passing today I am very reminiscent of our family’s personal and political ties to the first Republican governor in state history. Aside from being an honorable and historic leader in our state, he was a good friend to all Oklahomans.”

State schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett: "Oklahoma has lost one of its finest leaders and, without question, one of the greatest statesmen in our history. Henry Bellmon was a dedicated public servant who did so much for our state, endeavors that we perhaps take for granted today. ... To me, he is the father of education reform in Oklahoma.”

Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson: "It was my honor and privilege to work closely with Governor Bellmon during my tenure in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and help win passage of HB 1017 and other important initiatives. He was the kind of leader who transcended party, ideology and special interests.


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