Rhonda Humble
Former Sen. Kay O’Connor, 76, passed away Oct. 10, 2018, without much media fanfare. She was a great lady, and she served 14 years in the Kansas Legislature.
During her tenure in Topeka, Sen. Kay O’Connor made headlines, so I am a bit surprised at the lack of articles regarding her passing.
I am not fortunate enough to have counted her as a personal friend, but I dealt with her on a professional basis, and I was always impressed at her intelligence and thoughtful discourse.
The general media wasn’t kind to O’Connor. A comment attributed to O’Connor by a (then)local daily regarding women’s suffrage was picked up by national media and created a frenzy. It wasn’t pretty.
Weeks later, when I spoke with O’Connor and mentioned the incident, she just smiled. We chatted briefly, and I walked away amazed at her graciousness.
O’Connor and I differed on some key political issues. We came at life from different backgrounds and perspectives. Yet she was always willing to listen; she was always polite; and she always stuck to the issues.
I don’t recall her ever sinking to personal political attacks; she was strong enough and bright enough to stand on her own merit.
She displayed ethics, morality and integrity. I admired the inner strength that allowed her to move forward, despite criticism and stress.
Sen. O’Connor was a lady in the truest sense of the word.
She will be missed.