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Hundreds turn out for US Rep. Walorski funeral

GRANGER, Ind. (WISH) — Family and close colleagues of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski on Thursday said they would remember her commitment, her tenacity and her energy.

Hundreds packed the auditorium for Walorksi’s funeral at Granger Community Church, ranging from close family and neighbors, to dozens of members of Congress. Walorski was one of four people killed in a crash in Elkhart County eight days ago.

Gov. Eric Holcomb recalled the many conversations he and Walorski had regarding everything from RVs to veterans’ needs, to events in her northern Indiana Congressional district.

“And she could talk. She could bring it,” Holcomb added, drawing laughter from the crowd.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recalled Walorski taking him to his first Notre Dame football game. The California Republican noted he didn’t have any cold weather gear, so Walorski lent him her husband’s coat. McCarthy said Walorski’s dedication to serving her constituents is what led him to seat her on two of the House’s most crucial panels, the Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee.

“Not one member of Congress ever asked to be on Ethics, but when there was an opening, there was only one member I thought to call,” he said.

By far the most heartfelt tribute came from Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, who also played the saxophone during one of the service’s musical segments. Swihart recalled the time they met and the way he would reference a song and she would start singing it later in the day. He spoke of her love for her chopper-style bicycle and her fondness for pontooning and bass fishing.