(KTVI) – Former Missouri Democratic Representative Ike Skelton has died.
Skelton represented western and central Missouri for 34 years in the US House.
According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the cause of his death has not been released.
Skelton died at an Arlington, Virginia hospital surrounded by his family.
Ike Skelton was 81 year old.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said in a statement:
“Missouri lost a giant tonight. Ike Skelton represented the very best of Missouri, and fought tirelessly for the state he loved. Those of us lucky enough to call him a friend know that he lived the Missouri values of compromise and common sense. And in his half-century of service, he showed how Missouri could be a leader in contributing to the safety and security of our nation. I join all Missourians in sending my thoughts and prayers to Patty and the rest of Ike’s family. I’ll miss him dearly.”
Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) released the following statement:
“I am truly saddened to learn of the passing of a great Missourian, Ike Skelton. He was a true giant of Missouri history, tireless defender of Veterans and a man of great integrity who was a consistent voice for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces.
“His service and commitment to serving others will never be forgotten, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
President Obama said:
For 34 years, Ike Skelton served the people of Missouri in the United States Congress. He was beloved and respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Ike was a devoted advocate for our men and women in uniform. To many in Congress and across Missouri, Ike was a mentor and a friend, and he will be missed. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to his wife Patty, his family and loved ones.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon:
“A role model to whom I had the honor of presenting Missouri’s highest military honor, the Conspicuous Service Medal, Ike Skelton inspired us all with his quiet dignity and tireless commitment to America’s men and women in uniform.”
“A friend to Missourians, Americans and liberty-loving people worldwide, Congressman Skelton embodied the true meaning of public service and will forever be remembered as a leader who left a legacy of greater prosperity and security for his district, our state and our nation.”
Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy:
“He was a Missourian, a statesman and a champion of a strong and sensible national defense. And above all, he was a gentleman. His love of and faith in America was unshakableand his support for the U.S. military was second to none. This is a loss for Missouri and the nation. We extend our sincerest sympathy to his family.”