Jan 16, 2009

State Rep. Steve Hailey

Washington state Rep. Steve Hailey, R-Mesa, died Dec. 25, about a year after he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

A farmer and rancher from the Franklin County town of Mesa, WA, Hailey was elected on his second try in 2006, narrowly beating fellow Republican Joe Schmick in the Republican primary. (Schmick, R-Colfax, was subsequently appointed to fill a vacant legislative seat, and both men recently won re-election.)

Hailey represented the 9th district, a sprawling triangle that encompasses the Palouse and much of southeastern Washington. The former Vietnam War helicopter pilot made public the cancer diagnosis last January, then went back to his ranch to try to keep working on legislative tasks in between chemotherapy doses.

“This is one of the toughest challenges of my life, but I feel strongly that I have an obligation to be candid about what I’m dealing with and what’s ahead,” Hailey said at the time. He vowed to battle through the disease.

Last spring, he sounded upbeat and energetic, optimistic that the chemotherapy had worked. He was working on the ranch again. He ran for re-election, winning easily. Then, a few weeks after the election, Hailey announced that he’d be resigning Jan. 11, a day before the legislative session starts. He no longer had the strength, he said at the time, to keep up with a state lawmaker’s workload.

“When Steve announced his resignation earlier this month, we knew it was time for him to focus on his family and his battle against cancer,” said House Minority Leader Richard De- Bolt. Funeral services were held in Connell, WA, at the Connell Community Center. Republican party officials from the district’s half dozen counties will nominate appointees for the seat, with the county commissioners making the final decision.

In lieu of flowers, people can make contributions in Hailey’s name to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Washington Cattlemen’s Association Endowment Trust Fund. Ken York Graveside services for Ken York, 61, Marshall, TX, were held Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, at Colonial Gardens Cemetery with Bob Bryant officiating under the direction of Sullivan-Heaster Funeral Home. York died Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. He was born Nov. 22, 1947, in Cushing, OK, to Ira and Eunice Bay York. Survivors include his wife, Bertha Bryant York of Marshall; children, Angie York and Dustin York, both of Edmund, OK; Billy Bryant of Dallas; Lori Bryant of Tyler; Shelly Vaughn Sellers and Jana Vaughn, both of Marshall; Travis Bryant of Addison; and six grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Dustin York, Travis Bryant, Joe Black, Macky McIntosh, Justin Wiggins and Pete Sellers. To leave online condolences, visit www.

Ken was a man of many talents. He worked for registered cattle organizations and cattle publications, but found his true niche in marketing cattle. He loved the cattle business and was especially at home in selling his clients’ commercial calves and replacement females. One of the original “outside-the-box” thinkers, his unique talents led to sales for clients in over seven states, representing over 160,000 cows. Ken will be truly missed as an innovator, good friend, proud parent and grandfather.