GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Former Michigan State Sen. William Van Regenmorter has died. He was 73.
VanRegenmorter of Georgetown Township served Ottawa County as a Republican for 25 years.
He began as a representative in 1983. He then served as a senator for three terms and then returned to the House after term limits were instituted.
VanRegenmorter decided not run for re-election in 2006 because of complications from Parkinson's Disease.
He was the author of the 1985 William VanRegenmorter Crime Victims' Rights Act -- legislation that was later used as a template for similar bills across the nation.
Relatives and friends may meet the family from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, and from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4145 Chicago Dr. in Grandville. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Baldwin Street Christian Reformed Church, 2101 Baldwin St. in Jenison. He will be buried at Jamestown Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Crime Victim Foundation or the Parkinson's Association of West Michigan.
--In 2006, Political Reporter Rick Albin looked back at VanRegenmorter's career in Lansing. Watch that story above.--
U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga released the following statement Monday night regarding the death:
"Today the State of Michigan lost one of its most respected statesmen. Senator Van Regenmorter was a staple in the community, who led by example and was not only a valued mentor to me but a trusted friend as well. His advice and counsel to me for over 25 years has proven to be invaluable in both my personal and professional life. One of my greatest honors was to have served alongside him for four years in the state legislature.
"During his storied career as a citizen legislator, Bill demonstrated his leadership as author of the Crime Victim's Rights Act, legislation that would become the national model to protect the rights of those directly impacted by the commission of a crime. Through this legislation Bill not only helped protect victims in Michigan, but across the entire country. This fact was recognized when he was awarded the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award by the Department of Justice in 2009.
"Words can't express the sorrow I felt when I heard that Bill had passed, I will miss him dearly. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Cheryl and the entire Van Regenmorter family."
Share your memories of VanRegenmorter in comments below or send your photos of him to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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