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Heartfelt messages sent throughout Michigan in honor of Tom Casperson

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 7:45 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Political leaders and colleagues of former Senator Tom Casperson took the the time to today to remember the life of the Escanaba native.

Casperson served in the state legislature for 14 years. His former Chief of Staff Marty Fittante, who worked with him for 13 years, said Casperson’s love of people is what drove him to do the best he could as a Michigan leader.

“He loved the people of the Upper Peninsula and I think that’s why he was so proud to serve,” Fittante said.

Casperson was remembered for many other things during his 61 years on earth, including passing Senate Bill 396 after being elected into office, which enforced the travel safety of logging trucks.

His successor of the senate seat and friend, Senator Ed McBroom, said the former senator was able to build relationships with everyone. Even those across the aisle.

“I think the other thing that I would like to be most like Tom is the ability to make friends with people you disagree with,” McBroom said.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement Monday on the death of the former senator as well, exemplifying the relationships built in order to serve the people.

“Tom Casperson was an unwavering public servant, who made sure Yoopers always felt like their voices were heard in our state Capitol at every point during the legislative process,” Gov. Whitmer said. “While our politics varied, Tom proved that it was still possible to find common ground and work together to do right by the people of Michigan. As Senate Democratic Leader, I was proud to work across the aisle with state Senator Casperson to expand health care coverage through the Healthy Michigan plan, which now ensures coverage for more than 800,000 Michiganders across our state. Despite his diagnosis, Tom remained committed to doing the people’s work as he battled this vicious disease. My thoughts are with Tom’s family during this difficult time.”

Casperson also paved the way for political leaders that came after him.

“He definitely influenced me to get involved in the political arena here in the UP,” Marquette County Republican Chair, Matt Goss, said. “Just because of the positive impact he had.”

Others remember how he fought for the people of the UP.

“Tom was someone who really set the stage that we can all follow because he made sure the Upper Peninsula had a voice,” Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield, said. “At the end of the day, Tom Casperson is going to be mentioned in the hall of fame of people who served the UP.”

Nonetheless Fittante said there’s two things Casperson always wanted to be remembered by most.

“His love for the Lord Jesus Christ and his love for his family.”

Casperson is survived by his wife, Diane, and four children.

Mackinac Bridge Authority, Andrew Schepers, government relations director in Michigan for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and Sara Cambensy also released statements mourning the passing of Tom Casperson.

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