Legislative Column for April 14, 2014

Honoring Others

Today (4-14), the 97th General Assembly hosted a Memorial Service to honor former state senators who have passed away since the last such ceremony in May 1987. It will be the first time in nearly 30 years an event like this has been held. Together, with the families of the former senators, we celebrated the lawmakers’ lives and legacies and remembered their dedicated service.

This event honored not only those men and women who served in what is termed the upper chamber, but also their family members who gave their love and support to make their relatives’ time in Jefferson City possible. Each former senator was recognized by a roll call and a rose placed by the senator currently serving all or part of the district they represented. Family members were invited to a reception immediately following the ceremony.

From our area, two former members were honored. Each one has left a legacy behind, and we will convey our respect to that legacy on behalf of the great state of Missouri.

William Kelso Journey
1915 – 2002
31st Senate District (1957-1960)

William Kelso Journey served the people of the 31st District (Bates, Cass, Henry, Johnson, St. Clair and Vernon counties). Born in Calhoun, he received his education from Johnson County public schools; Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg; University of Colorado in Boulder; and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law with a Bachelor of Laws degree. During World War II, Sen. Journey served in the U.S. Navy as a personnel officer, night and flying fighter director, and contract termination negotiating and finance officer from 1942-1946. He then served as a Lt. Commander in NRA, VA-882 in the Naval Air Station in Olathe, Kansas. In 1940, he began to practice law in Clinton, where he resided and farmed. Sen. Journey was elected and served as prosecuting attorney of Henry County for 10 years. In 1954, he was elected to the House of Representatives. In 1956, Sen. Journey was elected to the Senate. (Democrat)

W. W. Sunderwirth
1900 – 1987
16th Senate District (1943-1946)

W. W. Sunderwirth served the people of the 16th District (Bates, Cedar, Henry and St. Clair counties). Born in Prairie City, he graduated from Butler High School in 1919; received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tarkio College in 1923; and earned a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Missouri in 1932. In 1926, Sen. Sunderwirth received a life certificate to teach in Missouri schools, and taught for three years in Missouri and Iowa high schools. He was admitted to the bar in 1928 and was elected prosecuting attorney of Bates County in 1928, serving from 1929-1930. Sen. Sunderwirth began practicing law in El Dorado Springs in 1932, and served as prosecuting attorney of Cedar County from 1939-1940. He was elected to the House of Representatives to serve Cedar County in 1940, during the 61st General Assembly. Senator Sunderwirth was elected to the Senate in 1942. (Republican)

To read more about each senator who will be remembered, visit the Senate Memorial page at www.senate.mo.gov and click on the Senate Memorial link.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.