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Monday, September 25, 2006

Thorpe Waddingham

In Saturday's Deseret Morning News:
Former Utah Senate President Thorpe Waddingham died Monday, Sept. 18, 2006, at age 83.

Mr. Waddingham became active in politics as a delegate to state and county conventions. He was elected to the Senate in 1959 and served for a time as Senate president. He also was once a majority leader and twice a minority leader in the Legislature. He was a lawyer and a Democrat from Delta.

Mr. Waddingham was a water attorney and was considered an expert on complicated state and federal water law. He was deeply involved in the Intermountain Power Project in the late 1970s.

He flew a B-24 bomber in World War II, was shot down over Hungary and served 13 months as a prisoner of war.

Mr. Waddingham was considered a character in Utah politics. He had a reputation for being able to bring disparate viewpoints to the table and effectively mediating the differences.

He once had a meeting with the late Gov. Scott M. Matheson and was driving up in the late afternoon from Delta. He arrived hours late, and the governor asked him where he was. He told the governor that he had made himself a promise after surviving combat and being a prisoner in the war: If he ever saw a beautiful sunset, he would stop and enjoy it. Apparently there was a beautiful sunset on the way to his Capitol meeting that day.

Mr. Waddingham attended Snow College, where he served as student body president, and he graduated from George Washington University Law School. He served as Delta City attorney and was president of the Utah State Bar in 1963.

His wife, Norma Michaelsen Waddingham, died in 2002. He is survived by five children. Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 25, in the Delta 3rd Ward LDS meetinghouse.


Blogger sarahbellum said...

Wow, I hadn't heard. He was one of the very, very few Democrats I knew growing up. Always a great example and what a beautiful family.

9/25/2006 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

The Utah State Democratic Committee expresses thanks for his contributions to the Democratic Party and to the citizens of his district, our state and country and to the entire Waddingham family for sharing him with the public.

9/25/2006 7:12 PM  
Anonymous The Man said...

I've never heard of Mr. Waddington, but he sounds like one heck of a guy.

Rest in peace.

9/25/2006 7:16 PM  

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