Incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) today released the following statement regarding news that State Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) has passed away.
“Dorothy was an amazingly charismatic and passionate person. I will always remember her quick wit and tremendous sense of humor. She was as fierce as she was loving. You could see Dorothy across the room and know in an instant whether she approved or disapproved of the issue at hand. In recent years, Dorothy served as a role model for all of us as she battled her illness with optimism and bravery. She demonstrated grace and beauty in suffering and maintained her fighting spirit until the very end.
“I first met Dorothy when she was running for the Florida House in 2004. We developed a strong friendship that I will miss terribly. From her early work as a teacher, to her career practicing law, to her many years of dedicated service in local and state government, Dorothy was a strong and tireless advocate for children and education. The Senate will miss her dedication and enthusiasm for these and so many other important issues.
“I will personally never forget the words of her prayer at my designation ceremony, one year ago this month. Dorothy eloquently spoke of the honor and privilege of public service, the sacrifice made by the families of those who serve, and the aspirational goal of servant leadership. She prayed fervently for blessings and protection for our families and that God would instill wisdom, understanding, and grace on all who serve the Florida Senate. While those words were so meaningful at the time, they are even more special now and serve as a lasting memory of Dorothy’s love for those she served with here in the Senate.
“To say that Dorothy was a welcoming person would be an understatement. She was known around the Capitol, and particularly in the Senate Graphics Office, for her penchant for ‘Welcome’ signs. It is hard to remember a session day that passed by without a new sign outside Senator Hukill’s office welcoming a group or organization to the Senate. The plethora of signs became such a running joke among the Senators that one year Senator Hukill left many of us personalized signs welcoming us to our spaces in the Senate Parking Garage and to our desks in the Senate Chamber. I have no doubt that as we grieve her loss today, the gates of heaven are adorned with a huge sign welcoming Dorothy to her eternal home.
“Julie and I join with Senator Hukill’s family and friends as they grieve this tremendous loss. We pray that fond memories of a life well-lived will bring comfort to all who knew and loved her.”