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County honors late senator with ‘Bob Oke Day’

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Monday proclaimed Sept. 4 as Bob Oke Day to recognize the veteran state senator who died in May.

“He was a very special gentleman,” said South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel. “The community was blessed to have him. He served the county and citizens for several years. Every time we drive across what should be called ‘The Bob Oke Bridge,’ we can’t help thinking about what Bob went through to make our lives easier and safer.”

Oke, who served in the state senate for 16 years, is best remembered for his support in the construction of the second span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. He died one month before the bridge opened, after a three-year fight against multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.

The commemoration coincides with what would have been Oke’s 67th birthday.

Monday’s meeting was addressed by Judy Oke, who said her late husband “loved the community with all his heart. I want to thank everyone here for all the love and support you have shown. I am sure he is looking down right now with a big grin, while the Lord gives him a pat on the back and says ‘good job, my most faithful servant.’”

The resolution recognized Oke for his “passionate service for all the people in the state of Washington … we urge all citizens to reflect his legacy and exceptional level of service.”

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