State Sen. Sue Landske

Ind. Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake

CEDAR LAKE | Former state Sen. Sue Landske is being remembered for her ability to bring people together on behalf of good government in Indiana.

Daniel Dernulc, chairman of the Lake County Republican Central Committee and 4th District Lake County councilman, described her as "a beacon" for good government during her 30 years in the Senate.

Landske, a Republican from Cedar Lake, died Friday at the age of 77.

"She was a truly great individual," said state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso.

He described her as "one of the best" in terms of how she treated people and how she calmly and quietly went about the business of representing her constituents in south Lake, Newton, Jasper and Benton counties.

"She had a leadership quality about her that just always came through in whatever she did," Charbonneau said.

In a statement, Republican Gov. Mike Pence said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of Landske's death and praised her many legislative accomplishments on behalf of women and veterans.

"A true public servant in every way, Sue focused on serving others — from her service in the military to that on behalf of Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana in both local and state government," Pence said. "The first lady and I offer our thoughts and prayers to Sue’s beloved family, friends and the countless Hoosiers impacted by her work."

Notable Landske legislation includes Indiana's "Lemon Law" that protects consumers from purchasing defective vehicles, free tuition at state colleges and universities for Hoosier Purple Heart recipients and a state living-will policy that gives adults choices for medical treatment if they become incapacitated.

Landske served as Center Township assessor from 1973 to 1984 before moving to the Senate, where she was elected assistant chamber president and led committees overseeing state policy on elections, transportation, commerce and criminal law.

She was retired as a colonel from the National Guard Reserve.

State Sen. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, who replaced Landske in the Senate after she chose not to run for re-election last year, said her death is a loss for Northwest Indiana.

"I had the pleasure of knowing Sue my entire adult life. She filled my father’s seat in the state Senate when he stepped down to become a county commissioner, and she and I worked together closely during my time in the House of Representatives,” Niemeyer said. “She was a passionate champion in the Statehouse for our area, and I’m saddened by her passing."

Center Township Trustee Paul Bremer, who knew Landske for 35 years and worked on her campaigns, described her as "an outstanding senator and a very dear friend. She worked extremely hard for her constituents. She will be dearly missed."

Both Dernulc and Bremer said Landske was someone who could work with Hoosiers from both sides of the aisle.

"She was one of those people who brought people together," said Dernulc, adding "everybody that knew her knew that she would treat them fair."

Landske missed the 2014 legislative session while battling the lung cancer that would ultimately claim her life. 

Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said she will be remembered as a woman of integrity, strength and grace.

"Those of us who had the privilege of serving alongside Sue in the General Assembly appreciated her warmth, friendship and wise counsel," Long said. "On behalf of the entire Senate, I extend our deepest condolences to her family. She will be greatly missed.”

Landske and her husband, William, own and operate All Golfcar Inc. in Cedar Lake. The family includes five children and seven grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday at Memory Lane Chapel, 6305 W. Lincoln Highway, Crown Point. Service times have not yet been finalized.

Statehouse Bureau Chief Dan Carden contributed to this report.

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Ed has been with The Times since January 2014. He previously covered government affairs for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Florida. Prior to Scripps, he was with the Chicago Regional Bureau of Copley News Service.