Breaking News in PA State Government!!!

I just got back from some middday errands to find the following story:

Senator Michael O’Pake has died

Apparently, he’d been suffering complications from a recent heart bypass surgery and succumbed from them, according to the story.

He was a true representative of the public and he and his staff were generally willing to listen to the complaints and issues that affected the voters and citizens of his district.  

He began in a day and age when being a public servant was not something people took for granted or used as a means to get whatever they could for it.  

He graduated from Reading Central Catholic High School the same year as my father.  They had recently had their 55th high school reunion.  

He leaves big shoes to fill in Harrisburg and in the district.  I pray that the county Democratic Committee will be judicious and careful in selecting and fielding a candidate to run for his seat.  As an unaffiliated, non-partisan voter, I would be happy to seek to fill his seat, because my personal and professional life thus far has been spent working with the same public he was elected by and served all these years.  I would work hard to continue on the legacy that he began and to bring sanity back to PA state government for the people of this Commonwealth.  

Mike will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by many.

6 thoughts on “Breaking News in PA State Government!!!”

  1. I actually remember Senator O’Pake very well.  My mother used to work for the Berks County Public Library System, and got to know him very well.  He was an active crusader for the public library system, as well as many other worthy programs in PA.  He was also instrumental in getting me my nomination to the Naval Academy (though I didn’t make the final cut, the fact that I made it that far was awesome).  Farewell, and good journeys beyond.

  2. John,

    Allow one to offer a more objective view of this state senator…the son of a widowed mother and a product of Reading’s low income Glenside project.

    It is not to your credit (however kindly mean’t) to allege that Michael O’Pake was a closeted gay person. If this assumption on your part in terms of someone’s sexual orientation is in any way correct (and I strongly emphasize the word “if”) what then drives this finding of yours…even granting a given 1st Amendment right to say what whatever in hell you wish.

    Indeed, if you felt a need to explore Michael’s sexual proclivities then why (as my own wife reminded me) do you wait until learning that the man now lies cold and dead…without the ablity to respond?

    This posting is not in defense of Michael O’Pake as a publican…or a politician and legislator, but only as someone who had, at the very least, the right to one’s own private life.

    In fact, I saw Michael (at times) as a rather arrogant person…yet at most, he was no more than a hapless victim to the same infirmities that inflict most long term politicians.

    Nevertheless, Mike had an intense focus toward serving his constituents…and this was in line (on a much lesser scale) with Tip O’Neil’s own mantra that “all politics is local” as well as further in line with our own Gus Yatron…or if you will, Bernville’s own Democratic State Senator Frank Ruth, a predecessor of both O’Pake and Bob Gerhart.

    In any event, who in hell cares about what may be but a solitary aspect of Michael O’Pake’s life…for is it not instead the aggregate…the whole sum of a man that in the end is the only thing that will count for something?  

    Matt Thomas


  3. Well, Kirk…if that was indeed the case with Michael, then this is a terribly sad ending for both of them.

    Matt Thomas


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