Former Nebraska governor dies; state leaders remember his life

Charles Thone

Nebraska leaders are expressing their condolences after learning about the death of a former Nebraska governor.

Charles Thone, 94, passed away on Wednesday. He was elected governor in 1979 and served in the position until 1983.

Governor Pete Ricketts ordered flags to be flown at half-staff from sunrise on Thursday to sunset on Tuesday, March 13.

Ricketts released the following statement honoring the late Thone:

Governor Thone was a man of integrity who provided stable leadership as Nebraska endured a national recession. While we mourn his passing, the people of Nebraska will remember his legacy of fiscal responsibility as Governor of Nebraska and Congressman. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruthie and the entire Thone family as the state honors a true public servant.

Lt. Governor Mike Foley released the following statement:

Governor Thone's leadership and character shaped our state and the countless Nebraskans he worked with during his public service at the state and federal level. Everyone he came in touch with experienced his gentlemanly manner and deep integrity. Susan and I are praying for the Thone family as they celebrate and honor their husband, father, and loved one.

Attorney General Doug Peterson released the following statement:

Nebraska has lost a dedicated public servant today. Governor Thone's early years of service to our state began after law college as an assistant attorney general before becoming an assistant U.S. District Attorney. His commitment to the law and our state led him to serve throughout his life in many capacities, ultimately leading him to be considered a distinguished elder statesman. He was regarded by many for his depth of understanding for the concerns of Nebraska and served his state well.

State Treasurer Don Stenburg, who served as an aide to Governor Thone, released the following statement:

My career in politics and government would not have been possible without Charley Thone’s support and wise counsel. He was a very smart, down-to-earth Nebraskan who presidential candidates from Goldwater to Reagan sought out for common sense advice as they campaigned for our nation’s highest office. He will be greatly missed by the many Nebraskans whose lives he touched for the better.

Secretary of State John Gale released the following statement:

Charley Thone served our state with high distinction as a U.S. Congressman for the First District and as Nebraska Governor. He was an able administrator, a distinguished lawyer, a dedicated public servant, a man of integrity, and a consummate gentleman. He had friends in every corner of the state, and engaged everyone he met with warmth, respect, and good humor. His ennobling spirit and sage advice were well known.

Senator Ben Sasse released the following statement regarding Thone's passing:

Governor Thone led a remarkable life of service, upholding the virtues of civility and integrity. Melissa and I join Nebraskans across the state praying for Charley’s family.

Senator Deb Fischer also released a statement:

Bruce and I mourn the loss of former Governor Charles Thone. As our state’s governor and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he always served Nebraska and its people to the best of his ability. Governor Thone was an exemplary public servant and dear friend to my family and to me. I join all Nebraskans in praying for Ruth and the entire Thone family.

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