Senator Bates honored on Senate floor

Salem, Ore. — The Oregon legislature spent the morning honoring the late southern Oregon Senator Alan Bates. SCR 7 was the only measure the house and senate took up Thursday, as a way to honor and celebrate Bates’ life and service.

“I can only hope Doc, that you’re at peace,” Senate President, Peter Courtney said Thursday, “and I can only hope that now the senate can be at peace. But Doc, you left us, you left us too soon.”

A day before what would have been Senator Alan Bates’ 72nd birthday, his legislative colleagues and friends, got the opportunity to remember the man they refer to as “Doc”.

“I miss him,” Senator Alan Olsen pauses and he points to his heart,” he’s always here.”

“The man had a heart of gold,” Senator Jeff Kruse says.

Bates’ wife, Laurie had a front row seat, as stories were shared on the senate floor. Senator Alan Olsen recounted the time he had a heart attack, and Bates’ helped save his life.

“He looks at me and he says ‘you’re having a heart attack, and we better call 9-1-1,'” Sen. Olsen adds.

Senator Jackie Winters spoke to his humble heart.

“He didn’t care who got the credit, he just cared that we got the job done,” Senator Winters said.

NBC5 News spoke to his wife Laurie, and daughter Krista, after the senate hearing. Both say they were  deeply moved by the display.

“This was for me phenomenal to have the opportunity to come and to see this part of his life which I know he cherished,” Krista Bates told us.

“I thought it was amazing,” Laurie Bates says, “the stories were all very similar how he was just always there.”

Always was a sentiment echoed in the Senate President’s closing remarks.

“The Doc will never leave us,” Senator Courtney says, “the Doc will always be here because, he’s the Doc.”

Senator Bates died August 5th, 2016 after suffering an apparent medical issue while fishing. Republican Senator Alan DeBoer is finishing out Bates’ term.

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