Senate honors the lives of John and Lois Spellman

OLYMPIA… Today the Senate paused to remember former Gov. John Spellman and former First Lady Lois Spellman and their service to the people of Washington. Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler led the remembrance, which concluded with the passage of a resolution honoring the couple. Mrs. Spellman passed away Jan. 25 at age 90, just nine days after her 91-year-old husband’s passing.

Schoesler spoke of the former Republican governor’s major accomplishments during his 1981-85 term, starting with his strong support for K-12 education and the protection of Puget Sound, as well as actions that are less remembered, such as dealing with overcrowded prisons and the aftermath of the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption.

“The administrations that followed Governor Spellman’s allow us to put his service into perspective, and as time goes by there is more and more reason to rank him among the great ones,” Schoesler said following a reception with members of the Spellman family. “He took office during hard times but stuck to his principles of good government, starting with honesty and fending off the special interests that wanted to dominate Olympia.

“The depth of his accomplishments is remarkable – a leader who opened doors to global trade opportunities that are now taken for granted, who filled hundreds of state leadership positions with women and people from minority communities, who with his wife put a priority on volunteerism and providing for those less fortunate. It was a privilege to lead the Senate in honoring the Spellmans today.

“We thank all the Spellman family for sharing John and Lois with us,” Schoesler said, addressing family members prior to the resolution’s approval.