Remembering Becky Lockhartby Senator Tom Udall
Posted on 2015-01-21
UDALL. Mr. President, let me say to my cousin, my heart goes out
to you, and my condolences on what you have talked about here today. I
really appreciate you coming down and talking so sincerely about that.
Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I am grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute to a remarkable woman, a loving wife, and a caring mother-- former Utah Speaker of the House Rebecca ``Becky'' Lockhart.
After weeks of battling a rare degenerative disease, Becky quietly passed away on January 17, 2015, with her loving family gathered at her bedside. Becky leaves behind a legacy of leadership and passionate advocacy that will resonate for years to come. It was this same passion and resilience that defined her tenure as Speaker of the Utah House. She was a dedicated public servant who always rose to meet our State's challenges with wisdom and strength.
Becky's career was a model of selfless service. Guided by a desire to help others, she studied nursing at Brigham Young University. Before entering public service, Becky worked as a registered nurse for 7 years, during which time she treated thousands of patients and became intimately familiar with health care issues affecting Utah families. Her experience as a nurse would later shape her career as a legislator, and as Speaker of the House, she became a powerful advocate for State- based health care reform. I had the opportunity to discuss these and many other issues with Becky throughout the years. In doing so, I was always impressed with her eloquence, her intelligence, and her commitment to the State of Utah.
Becky was first elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1998, and she quickly distinguished herself as a persuasive collaborator, a passionate legislator, and one of the hardest-working representatives in the legislature. Her colleagues recognized her leadership abilities and elected her Assistant Majority Whip in 2008. Just 2 years later, Becky made history when she became the first women to serve as Speaker of the House in Utah. Through her remarkable career, she trail-blazed a path for generations of women to follow and became known as Utah's ``Iron Lady.'' Utah grew under Becky's leadership. She championed legislation that modernized our State's transportation system, strengthened our infrastructure, and promoted technological advancement. During her last year as Speaker, she spearheaded an ambitious education initiative aimed at putting technology directly into the hands of Utah students. Her leadership spurred a much-needed discussion on ways to improve Utah's education system to equip our students with the resources they need to succeed academically.
Many are familiar with Becky's public life, but of even greater importance was her personal life. Before she was House Speaker and even before she became a well-known political figure, Becky was, first and foremost, a wonderful wife and a loving mother. Becky and her husband, Stan, created a strong partnership in politics and in parenthood as they lovingly raised their three children, Hannah, Emily, and Stephen. I know that Stan and his family will miss Becky most of all. During this time of heartrending loss, I pray that they may feel the comforting embrace of God's love and find peace in the memories they share with this remarkable woman.
I, too, will miss Becky dearly. May her memory always serve as a model of compassion, selflessness, and dedicated public service.