Former Michigan Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. dies

Hertel served in Michigan Legislature for 18 years

Michigan state capitol building rotunda lansing
Looking up at the rotunda ceiling inside the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A family spokesman says former Michigan Democratic Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. has died. He was 63.

T.J. Bucholz says Hertel died Sunday of “natural causes” at his home in southeastern Michigan.

Hertel’s son, current state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., said in a statement that family members are “absolutely devastated,” but they are celebrating “the life of a consummate public servant.”

Hertel Sr. was first elected to the Michigan House in 1980 and served his Detroit district until 1998. He was co-speaker from 1993-94 with Republican Paul Hillegonds, and sole speaker from 1997-98.

Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder ordered U.S. flags within the State Capitol Complex to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday in recognition of Hertel.

Hertel comes from a family of lawmakers. Two brothers also served in state House, Senate or U.S. House.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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