Rochester mayor reacts to death of close friend Jackie Walorski
ROCHESTER, Ind. --- Many Hoosier communities are still reeling with the sudden loss of their representative, including Rochester, Indiana. Flowers were laid outside of her second office in downtown Rochester, and Rochester’s mayor says her work in the community will never be forgotten.
“God was never going to let Jackie leave this world standing still,” Mayor Ted Denton said. “She was moving, constantly moving.”
Successful congresswoman, dear friend, passionate politician, and good person are how people in Rochester are describing Jackie Walorski.
“It’s a loss of a good person,” says Gene Maners, Commander at VFW 1343 in Rochester about Walorski.
“A very good friend, a very good leader, a very good person,” Mayor Denton says.
Walorski had strong ties to Rochester and was a familiar face in the community.
“She had an office here, and had a representative here full time,” Mayor Denton said. “She had people available full time to talk to people about issues, and anything and everything.”
Her work goes far beyond what she has accomplished at the Capitol Building, her work in her constituent’s communities are what people here say they will remember the most. Especially, her dedication to local veterans. Walorski had a passion for supporting our nation’s heroes.
“It’s a tough road for veterans sometimes,” Maners says. “She was always there if you went to her office. I know I had a friend that ended up there and her office and her helped him get the stuff through the V.A. and get his disability that he deserved.”
Her connection with the city goes deeper than her work; Walorski was somebody that Mayor Denton called his ‘cousin’ for seven years.
“All of a sudden, I tagged her my cousin. Whenever we were out and about, we would have some great fun I would refer to her as my cousin,” recalls Mayor Denton. “Any notes she sent, over the years she sent me a few notes of appreciation and thanking me for my service. She would always end with ‘Jackie, your cousin.’”
One of the last notes sent to the Mayor by his ‘cousin’, he will forever hold close to his heart.
“Dear Ted, Mr. Mayor in quotes,” Mayor Denton reads. “Thank you so much for all you do for us. I am so grateful. Jackie Walorski. In quotes, ‘cuz.’”