LANSING, Mich. — In response to news of the tragic death of Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, issued the following statement:
“Like many in the U.P., I lost a dear friend with the tragic passing of John Kivela. My staff and I feel profound sadness over John’s death, as he was like a part of our office through the kindness and support he offered to us.
“I know we join many, not only in the U.P, but across the state in holding John’s wife Sandy and their two children in our prayers over their loss.
“I choose to remember John through the many happy times we shared, through the friendship he offered, and through assistance he provided to me and to so many of the constituents we shared. I also will remember the many legislative successes that were the result of the U.P. legislators coming together and focusing on the issue and not the ideology.
“It is part of John’s legacy and one we would do well to remember. Frankly, the working relationship that the U.P. delegation formed was the result of John’s outreach and personality. I will forever remember our first spaghetti dinner together — while the homemade dinner John prepared for us was delicious, it was laughs and the personal stories we shared that birthed the start of a friendship that I am so grateful to have enjoyed. He is already missed and he will always remain in our hearts.”