Former Rep. Dale Kildee dies at 92

Former Rep. Dale Kildee dies at 92
© Getty Images

Former Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee (D), who was among the longest-serving congressmen in history, died on Wednesday at the age of 92.

In a statement, Kildee's nephew and fellow congressman Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeFormer Rep. Dale Kildee dies at 92 EPA closer to unveiling plan for tackling 'forever chemicals' Sanders, Manchin, Sinema fight proxy war in the House MORE (D-Mich.) remembered him as "an incredible uncle and role model" as well as a "political mentor."

“First and foremost, Dale was family. Born into a large Catholic family that cherished our Irish heritage, Dale was an incredible uncle and role model. Later, as I followed in his footsteps into a life of public service, Dale became a political mentor to me," Kildee said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I have lost a wonderful member of my family, and the people of Michigan lost an incredible public servant. We mourn his loss while recognizing the great contributions that he made to Flint, the state of Michigan and our country," he said.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJudge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech GOP lawmaker calls for Meghan, Harry to lose royal titles over paid leave push MORE (D-Calif.) remembered her former colleague as embodying "the noble spirit of public service."

"Personally, I had the great privilege of serving alongside Dale in the House for more than a quarter century, where I witnessed first-hand his devotion to service, legendary work ethic and extraordinary humility and kindness," Pelosi said in a statement.

"Every Member who had the honor of working with Dale was in awe of how hard he worked – from the well of the House, where he rarely missed a vote, to the communities of his childhood hometown," she added.

Kildee announced in 2011 that he would not be seeking reelection after serving for 36 years and being elected 18 times.

During his time in Congress, he served on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce as well as the House Committee on Resources. Kildee was also a founding member of the Native American Caucus.

Following his retirement, Kildee worked as a consultant on Native American law for the international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, as MLive.com reported.

Don Pongrace, who heads the American Indian Law and Policy practice at Akin Gump commended Kildee's commitment to Native Americans.

"He also was one of the kindest and most considerate souls I have ever met, the kind of person you rarely meet in Washington. We will all miss him,” Pongrace said in a statement. 

Kildee once told MLive before retiring from Congress that "there’s not a day that I don’t love coming to work.” 

“There are some hard days, days where I work 36 hours straight, but I love the work,” he said.

Kildee is survived by his wife Gayle, his three children Paul, Laura and David and his grandchildren.

Updated 6:51 p.m.