NAPLES, Florida -- The family of Berkley Bedell is mourning the loss of the longtime Iowa congressman.
Family members say Bedell suffered a stroke on Dec. 4 and passed away at 98 years old on Saturday.
Bedell represented Iowa’s 6th district in Congress from 1975 to 1987.
He was born in Spirit Lake and launched the fishing tackle business Berkley and Company.
"He pioneered a life that impacted others for 98 years. His duality of concern for how others thought of him and how graciously he thought of others molded a personality that was uniquely special and full of influence," wrote Tom Bedell on Facebook. "...he set an example of principle as a Congressman; and he lived wisdom and passion in his senior years – never giving up on the desire and belief that he could change the world for the better."
Senator Chuck Grassley sent his condolences to the Bedell family in a post on Twitter.
J.D. Scholten, a Democratic congressional candidate for Iowa's 4th district, wrote on Twitter that Bedell was his political hero.
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price and 4th District Chair Penny Rosfjord released a statement on his death. It reads:
“Berkley Bedell was the embodiment of a dedicated public servant. As a stalwart of progressive politics in Northwest Iowa, his work to uphold farm families during the farm crisis, boost the middle class, and provide a fair shot for all has impacted countless Iowans. A true prairie populist, hi value-driven policies united Iowans and inspired generations of future Democrats. Our State is a better place because of his leadership, and his dedication to community will be missed. Our thoughts are with the Bedell family.”