Flags Lowered To Honor Rep. Bob Bethell

By: Suzie Gilbert/Chris Fisher Email
By: Suzie Gilbert/Chris Fisher Email

WABAUNSEE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered flags lowered to half staff in honor of a Kansas lawmaker who was killed in a weekend car accident.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says, around 7:30 Sunday night, Rep. Bob Bethell's car veered off I-70 in Wabaunsee County near the Paxico exit, hit several trees, overturned and ended up on its roof.

Bethell was the only person in the car. He was headed home to Alden following the Legislative session, which had adjourned an hour earlier. A part-time pastor, Bethell gave the prayer to open Saturday's meeting of the House.

The 69-year old Republican was a Kansas State Legislator for the 113th District since 1999, representing Rice County and parts of Reno and Barton counties.

Funeral services are set for 1:30 pm Thursday at Sterling Methodist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alden Community Center, P.O. Box 186, Alden, KS, 67512.

Bethell is survived by his wife, Lorene, their daughter Aletha Pelham, and Aletha's husband and two children.

The following is a statement from Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R-Hutchinson) regarding the passing of Representative Bob Bethell:
“I am shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Bob Bethell. He was a valued member of our caucus and a valued fellow member of our Reno County delegation. We benefitted from his experience with aging and long term care issues and he will be sorely missed. I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Lorene, and his family.”

The following is a statement from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt regarding the passing of Representative Bob Bethell:
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of our friend Bob Bethell. Bob was a tireless advocate for the interests of Kansas seniors, including as a valued member of the Attorney General’s Senior Consumer Advisory Council. Kansas is diminished by Bob's death, and we will miss him.”

The following is a statement from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback regarding the passing of Representative Bob Bethell:
“Representative Bob Bethell was a man of deep faith and passion for his family and state. The community of Alden, and the entire state of Kansas lost a passionate and motivated public servant yesterday,” Gov. Brownback said. “In the Kansas Legislature, Bob lead by example. He leaned in and poured himself into issues and causes important to Kansas and was a voice for our state’s most vulnerable citizens. Those who knew Bob will remember him as warm and affectionate, and that his family, friends and state always mattered more to him than anything else.”

“Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife Lorene, and the family and friends who he loved so dearly. He will be missed in the State Capitol, in Alden, and in our hearts.”

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