Former Rep. Joe Knollenberg, a Michigan Republican who represented suburban Detroit for eight terms, died on Tuesday. He was 84.
Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., who represents parts of Knollenberg’s old Oakland County-based district, sent out a statement about the news.
“Joe worked tirelessly during his sixteen years in Congress to represent the values of Southeastern Michigan. Our state and nation are better off because of his service. We go forward honoring Joe’s legacy and offer our prayers and sympathies to his family during this difficult time,” Trott said.
A genial Midwesterner, Knollenberg was a low-key but popular member of the Wolverine State delegation. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat who represents the neighboring 12th District, released a statement offering her condolences on behalf of herself and her husband, former Rep. John Dingell.
“John and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Joe Knollenberg, who was a friend and true champion for the state of Michigan. He committed his life to serving our country in the military and in Congress, and worked across the aisle to better the state he loved. Joe’s years of advocacy and public service changed Michigan for the better, and he will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandie and his family during this difficult time,” she wrote.
Knollenberg was an Appropriations Committee “cardinal” or subcommittee chairman during his time in Congress, an era when partisan relations did not wholly dictate the government spending process, as it does currently.
Born November 28, 1933, Knollenberg was elected to the House in 1992 and retired after the 2008 elections.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Knollenberg had Alzheimer’s Disease and had been living in a long-term care facility because of the disease.