Oregon state senator dies suddenly - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon state senator dies suddenly

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MEDFORD, OR (KPTV) -

Senator Alan Bates, who had represented the Medford area in the state legislature since 2000, died suddenly Friday.

Bates had been a doctor with a practice in Southern Oregon for 30 years prior to entering the Oregon House in 2000 and then the Senate four years later.

He was a Vietnam veteran and had served on Oregon’s Health Services Commission and the Governor’s task force on Quality in Education.

In a statement released Saturday, Bates’ family said they were comforted that his day was spent fly fishing with his son.

"The entire Bates family is still in shock at this sudden tragedy. We are gathering together to be there for one another in this time of need."

“He was such a great man with an impact on Oregon, his community, his patients and most of all, his family. He saved so many lives through a lifetime of practicing medicine, helping generations of southern Oregonians better their health. He went on to help many more people in his work in the Oregon Legislature.”

”His loss will be felt throughout the state. The family welcomes thoughts and prayers while we grieve together. We are comforted in the fact that he passed after a day of doing something he loved: fly fishing his son. We will always think of him when we hear the sound of the river, feel the summer sunlight and see a fly line cast upon the water."

Governor Kate Brown released a statement on Bates’ death, saying he “left an indelible impression” on the state.

"Alan was a close friend, a statesman, and a doctor who was deeply committed to ensuring that every Oregonian had access to health care. He left an indelible impression on Oregon, and I will miss him forever."

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