Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crowell salutes the late Warren Hearnes

In his latest capital report, Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau recalls former Missouri Gov. Warren Hearnes, who died last week:

On August 16th, Missouri lost a dedicated Missourian, former Governor Warren Eastman Hearnes. Last Wednesday, his casket was placed in the Capitol Rotunda to allow friends, family, and the public to pay tribute to “The Gentleman from Mississippi.” His casket was draped with a Missouri flag that he had saved for over 40 years to be used on that day.

Sen. Crowell with Betty and former Gov. Warren Hearnes at the Capitol in 2005.

I was born in 1972 and, since his last year in the office as governor was 1973, the most I knew of him growing up was the Hearnes Center in Columbia. However, after being elected to the General Assembly, I got the opportunity to know the former governor and first lady, Betty Hearnes. I worked closely with them on improving the lives of those with autism, and I was inspired by the dedication and focus they shared to better our state and the lives of all Missourians.

Warren Hearnes grew up in Southeast Missouri, and spent most of his life in his hometown of Charleston. He served his community, state, and country – as a West Point graduate and Army Lieutenant, local attorney, majority floor leader of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and our 46th Governor. Throughout his life and the many public offices he held, he remained dedicated to the values we all hold dear—community, faith, and family.

Former Governor Hearnes’ life was filled with accomplishments, a legacy that still touches so many in our state. He made a difference for children and working families facing the challenges of mental illness, was a champion for education, and strengthened communities throughout Missouri by focusing on business and economic growth. He also championed

Former Governor Hearnes’ casket was placed in the Capitol Rotunda to honor his service to Missouri.

legislation creating the state’s teacher retirement system, sheltered workshops for the developmentally disabled, and the state’s first civil rights act regarding public accommodations. In the words of Governor Jay Nixon, who spoke at the service in Charleston last Friday, “A knowledgeable lawyer, a talented politician, a wise statesman, a loving husband and father … Governor Hearnes invested his many talents to make this community and our entire state a better place — for Missouri’s children, for our working families, for those living with mental illness.”

Governor Hearnes will be missed by his family, friends, community, and all Missourians. This is a time for all of us whose lives were touched by his work and efforts to remember and honor “The Gentleman from Mississippi.”

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