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Todd R.
Republican IN 4

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  • Tribute to Richard D. ``Dick’’ Gilroy

    by Representative Todd Rokita

    Posted on 2015-02-02

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    ROKITA of indiana in the house of representatives Monday, February 2, 2015 Mr. ROKITA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Richard D. ``Dick'' Gilroy, a great Hoosier and valued friend who passed away on January 25, 2015. On that Sunday evening we lost a committed husband and father, as well as a dedicated community servant. I consider the words recorded on the floor of this House to be the official record of our nation. As such, please allow me to submit the following: After law school, Dick Gilroy joined the office of former Indianapolis Mayor, Richard G. Lugar, where he served the citizens of the city admirably and where he met Sue Anne Starnes, who he would marry in 1973.

    Having been a member of the United States Army Reserve, Dick Gilroy was a patriot who cared deeply for our nation and the ideals of American Exceptionalism. As one who believed deeply in the sacred American principle of ``innocent until proven guilty,'' Dick continued to serve the people of Indianapolis as a public defender, and later as a Magistrate Judge.

    Always close to politics and public service, Dick Gilroy was the perfect spouse ``behind the scenes'' as his cherished wife ran for statewide office and served two celebrated terms as Indiana's 58th Secretary of State.

    Mr. Speaker, we live in an age when the spouse of an elected official may often times play an integral role in the success of the official's public service. The unelected spouse will often share the work and time commitment of his/her partner. Dick Gilroy understood the significance of this role and executed it faithfully always supporting the efforts of his wife and understanding her commitment to public service. For that reason he was a tremendous asset to Sue Anne and her staff alike. In that role he greatly served the state and country he loved so much.

    Dick believed in using his talents and passion to improve the lives of those in his church and community. He created Young Life basketball and tutoring program through Tabernacle Presbyterian Church and led the ministry for ten years. The program influenced the lives of those who participated and the volunteers who supported it. Dick is still referred to as ``Coach Gilroy'' by those who participated in the program.

    As another Gilroy family friend recently remarked, Dick Gilroy was the ``salt-of-the-earth'' and one of the ``best'' human beings anyone would come across. Those of us who were lucky enough to ``experience'' Dick Gilroy, whether we are former Gilroy staffers, personal friends, professional colleagues, or community leaders, could not be more in agreement with these statements.

    He was a caring and strong father, a loving husband, and a great mentor to young lawyers and public servants like me. Aside from coaching troubled kids, he played a great deal of sports himself, including hockey. I remember Dick telling me one time when I was playing as an adult that ``the only appropriate beverage after a hockey game is a LaBatt's Blue.'' Growing up in Detroit, and being so close to our northern neighbor, Dick was always allowed this one indiscretion.

    Dick Gilroy leaves his wife of 41 years, who along with him, serves as a mentor and friend to Kathy and me. He also leaves his son, Grant, and two granddaughters. Dick has finally been reunited with the Gilroy's beloved daughter, Emily, who preceded him in death.

    While leaders always lead, and the leadership that the Gilroy family has provided Indiana for so many years will certainly continue on, Hoosiers experienced a setback in losing Dick Gilroy so unexpectedly. Because so many of us gained so much from him and the quiet leadership he provided, he will always be cherished, missed, and emulated.


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