INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Senate honored state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, and four other senators Tuesday who aren't seeking re-election and will end their combined 155 years of Senate service later this week.
Landske did not attend the celebration of her accomplishments during 30 years as a state senator. She has missed the entire 2014 legislative session while battling lung cancer.
Nevertheless, lawmakers shared stories about Landske, praised her work on legislative redistricting and recalled her efforts to encourage women to study engineering, provide state assistance for Purple Heart veterans and promote living wills.
"Hoosiers across the state can thank Sen. Landske for bettering their lives, and we have all been blessed to call her our colleague," said state Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis. "I am so proud to call Sen. Landske my friend."
Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said Landske has been one of those people in life that you quietly appreciate.
"A good soul, a good spirit, good person, a good grandma," Long said. "She's gone through a lot in her life, and we'll miss her."
Landske served as a colonel in the National Guard Reserve and six years as Center Township assessor before winning election to the Senate in 1984.
She currently is assistant Senate president, chairwoman of the Senate Elections Committee and a top member of the Senate's committees on civil law and tax and fiscal policy.
State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, said even though she and Landske are from different political parties, they both represent Lake County and always were able to work across the aisle for the good of their constituents.
She added that Landske sent her a handwritten letter in January following Rogers' son's cancer surgery, "even though she was struggling and trying to get well herself — and I appreciated that very much."
Landske and her husband, William, own and operate All Golfcar Inc. in Cedar Lake. They have five children and seven grandchildren.
Following a November lung cancer diagnosis, Landske announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election. She is being treated at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Merrillville.
The four other senators not returning next year are state Sens. Lindel Hume, D-Princeton; Johnny Nugent, R-Lawrenceburg; Allen Paul, R-Richmond; and Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne.