Sen. John Hoeven entered a statement into the Congressional Record on Monday honoring the late North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem.
Stenehjem died July 18 in a single-vehicle rollover accident in Alaska; he was 59. His funeral was held today in Bismarck, and about 700 people gathered Sunday for a funeral visitation in the Capitol.
Here’s the statement Hoeven entered into the Congressional Record:
Mr. President, today I honor the life and exemplary service of North Dakota’s late Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem. Bob died last week in a car accident in Alaska on his way back from doing one of the things he loved best when not working: fishing in the great outdoors.
During the 10 years he served as Majority Leader of the North Dakota Senate, and the nearly 20 years he served as a state senator, I counted Bob as a friend, a colleague and a partner in the important work we were doing to build a stronger, more dynamic North Dakota.
It has been said many times by many people that Bob had the ability to see all sides of an issue and appreciate everyone’s interest. That is an invaluable quality for a leader and essential to a good legislator. He worked well with others and considered among his dearest friends many on the opposite of the aisle who held a different philosophical viewpoint. Bob could disagree without being disagreeable and always respected the opinions of others. It was that ability that helped him to forge good legislation for the people of North Dakota.
As a public servant, as a citizen, Bob’s deep love of North Dakota informed every decision he made in the Legislature, and his legacy today is a more vibrant and secure state than it was when he was first elected to represent District 30 in 1993. His remarkable service and devotion to North Dakota benefited our state and our people in countless ways over the years, helping to bridge differences and improve the quality of life for all North Dakotans.
Mikey and I extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Kathy and the entire Stenehjem family on this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them, and we pray that they will take comfort in knowing that he served his state and fellow North Dakotans well.