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Former RI Governor Sundlun Passes Away

According to media reports, former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun has passed away.

According to The Providence Journal, former Rhode Island Governor Bruce G. Sundlun passed away Thursday at the age of 91. For a full story from the Journal, click here. The Journal also did an exhaustive profile of Sundlun and his life at 86, which you can read here.

Sundlun served as governor from 1991 to 1995, after Edward DiPrete. He was known for his decorated military service, his career as a lawyer, and his sometimes eccentric and colorful personality and behavior.

Sundlun was married five times, and famously in 1993, used a shotgun to clear his property of racoons he thought were rabid. He surrendered his driver's license in 2009 after numerous complaints about his driving at the University of Rhode Island, where he maintained an office.

Congressman Jim Langevin has released the following statement about the passing of Sundlun:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Governor Sundlun’s family at this difficult time.

“I was proud to work with Bruce going back to our time as delegates together at the state’s constitutional convention and then as a legislator when he served our state with distinction as governor. His was truly a life well-lived, an extraordinarily well-rounded and accomplished life from his time as an enlisted member of the Army Air Corps, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart, to the leadership he provided our state, to his dedication to civic and community organizations.

“I will always treasure the time we spent together. In particular, I remember our trip when I invited him as my guest to the World War II Memorial dedication in Washington and how proud Bruce was of his country and his fellow veterans who gave their lives for values that he so cherished.

“As we mourn his loss today, we also know that the indelible positive mark Bruce left by serving so many people, places and institutions in Rhode Island and beyond can never be erased. I was so lucky to have been able to call him a friend.”

Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman Ed Pacheco issued the following statement on the passing of Governor Sundlun:

"My condolences go out to the Sundlun family, friends and every Rhode Islander mourning the loss of Governor Sundlun. As someone who has been in politics from an early age, I have looked to Governor Sundlun as a benchmark for public service. I appreciate his dedication and commitment as a true public servant: decorated Army Air Corps pilot, businessman, lawyer, elected official, and a devoted Democrat who remained civically engaged throughout his life. He stood firm as executive officer of this state willing to face a difficult road, as he did with the banking crisis, with certitude and conviction. There are a number of iconic figures who have had a tremendous impact on politics in the Ocean State, and I most definitely would count Governor Sundlun among them. He will be sorely missed and always remembered."

Do you have memories of Governor Sundlun you'd like to share? Feel free to use the comments section, or to send us an e-mail.

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