(Updated to include senator’s Facebook post)
Senators were notified Friday morning that the husband of Republican state Sen. Brenda Dietrich of Topeka passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving.
Jerry Dietrich had been fighting lewy body dementia, a degenerative condition with many similarities to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81.
The Dietrichs had been married 41 years. A private service will be held in a couple weeks.
“Our deepest condolences and prayers are with her and the family during this very difficult time,” the Senate said in its announcement.
In a Facebook post Sunday, Dietrich recalled her husband as “one of the most hardworking, friendly, intelligent, creative, and fun-loving people you would ever want to know.”
“His life was full. He enjoyed traveling, remodeling our homes, taking day trips anywhere and everywhere, going to the beach or the mountains, working in the yard, and collecting things. He loved his family very much,” the senator wrote.
“He also loved antiques, but I didn’t; so, the running joke in our family was he was the oldest thing that would ever be in the house!”
Democratic Treasurer Lynn Rogers offered his condolences on social media.
“My heart goes out to Sen. Dietrich for her profound and sudden loss,” Rogers posted on Twitter.
.”Please know my family and I send you our deepest thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time,” he wrote.