(Harrisburg) -- The state House speaker's office says longtime Representative Dick Hess is dead at age 74 from complications that arose after recent leg surgery.
House Speaker Sam Smith says Hess died today at UPMC Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh, surrounded by his family.
Hess was a 14-term veteran of the House, where he most recently chaired the Transportation Committee.
A Republican, his district ran through Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon counties in western Pennsylvania.
Governor Corbett issued a statement about the longtime lawmaker's passing:
“Dick Hess was a champion of economic progress, moral values and individual rights – principles he represented unfailingly in his 26 years in the General Assembly,’’ Corbett said.
“In both his role as chairman of the House Commerce Committee and, this session, chairing the House Transportation Committee, Dick placed the economic well-being of Pennsylvania’s citizens foremost. He was guided in this service by his experience as a prothonotary and clerk of courts in Bedford County, as well as his deep religious faith.
“Susan and I send our deepest condolences to Dick’s wife, Shirley, their son, Jeff, daughter-in-law, Lizette, and their three grandchildren.’’
Corbett has ordered all Pennsylvania flags lowered to half-staff immediately at the Capitol Complex and at commonwealth facilities statewide in honor of Hess. Flags shall remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of his burial. U.S. flags should be flown at full-staff during this period.
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