Lansing, Mich. — State Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, on Thursday issued the following statement about the passing of former state Senator Harry Gast:
“It’s a sad day for Michigan, especially for our community as we learn about the passing of Senator Gast. Harry was a mentor for me and helped guide and influence my legislative career and the work I have been able to accomplish here at the Capitol.
“So many in Lansing, and throughout our state, loved to work with Harry because he was a straight shooter who always made sure you knew where you stood with him, and that is one of the reasons he was such a great person to work alongside. His farmer’s common sense and spirit that he brought to the legislature as our representative made him an effective voice and leader for our community, because he always remembered where he was from.
“I’m often reminded of how much he did for our local community by something I found when moving into my office in the Capitol Building back in January. As I was getting settled and moving in, I found a stamp on one of my desks that noted how it was made in Eau Claire and signed by the woodworkers. Those local stands only happened because of Senator Harry Gast. Since that time, I have used that very desk in my office where it serves as a reminder of the type of commitment Harry had for our community, a quality I try to exhibit every day I am working at the Capitol.
“We will all miss Harry. He has meant so much to our community and the state. He cannot be replaced, and everyone who had the chance to know him will surely miss his presence. Harry lived a great, full life and the memory of the work he did will outlive all of us.”
PHOTO CUTLINE: Inside Sen. Proos’ office is a piece of furniture that is stamped by a local Eau Claire company and signed by the woodworkers. Proos noted how the locally made stands only happened because of the late Senator Harry Gast.