Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Representative Steve Smith’s Lonely, Unnecessary Death

He couldn’t confront the monster called Alcoholism and most of his family and friends exhausted every effort to get him to face it. He died alone and lonely; and I weep for him and the family he couldn’t hold close.
by Charlie Leck
Former MN Representative (our former representative in the State House of Representatives) died recently, losing a fierce and ugly battle with alcoholism. The story in MinnPost is brilliantly written and very sad. If you knew Steve, an old fashioned Republican and proud of it, you should read it. He died, probably a month ago in a small apartment he had in the community of Mound. Once brilliant and bright and handsome, he had shriveled into an old and weak man, beaten down by one of the worst diseases known to man. He was on a bed in his simple apartment, wrapped in blankets. The heat to the unit had been turned off and the scene conjures up terrible feelings of lonely hopelessness. He had been dead for some time when he was found.
I never voted for him, but I admired him for the hard earned victories he won in every election cycle up to his defeat in a party primary in 2012. In that campaign he was beaten by a tough, rough Tea Party opponent and by the habit he couldn’t kick. There wasn’t much fight left in him.
He was certainly a moderate Republican and we (the Democrats in the district) were able to live with him; and we were also able to negotiate with him and, sometimes, arrive at compromise positions. I always thought of him as a good man. He was clearly well spoken and well read.
The story of his death is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. I won’t write more. The story is there for those with the courage to read it.


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