Tulsa lawmaker remembered in House
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, April 13, 2012
4/13/12 at 6:16 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma flag draped the chair of the late Rep. Sue Tibbs on Thursday during a memorial service in the House chamber.
Tibbs, a six-term Republican from east Tulsa, died Friday.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Honor Guard in a ceremony historically reserved for law enforcement folded a second state flag flown over the statehouse.
Gov. Mary Fallin presented it to her family as members in the chamber and gallery rose to their feet.
A folded Oklahoma Highway Patrol flag was placed on her empty desk as a reminder of what Tibbs had done for public safety in the state.
Fallin described Tibbs as "one dedicated lady," who valued her constituents.
"If she had a cause, boy she was all over it," the governor said.
Fallin recalled the sacrifices Tibbs made to be at the Capitol.
"Thank you, thank you for sharing Rep. Sue Tibbs with us," Fallin told Tibbs' family members seated at the front of the chamber.
House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, said Tibbs championed public safety, corrections reform and voter identification.
At the time of her death, Tibbs served as chairwoman of the House Public Safety Committee.
Maj. Rusty Rhoades of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol described Tibbs as a woman with spunk, who had a passion to keep people safe and loved the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
"After fifteen plus years on the Highway Patrol, I firmly believed I was a state trooper," Rhoades said. "Well, she firmly believed she was a state trooper as well. And I wasn't about to tell her she wasn't."
Many told stories about Tibbs' habit of pointing her finger at someone when she was making a point or wanted something.
Rhoades, a close friend of Tibbs, said at one point she wanted his personal opinion on a matter, but it was his policy not to give personal opinions on issues.
"And then it happened to me - the finger," Rhoades said. "I got the finger. And I am not so sure she didn't have a holster for that thing. Once I got that finger, I gave her my opinion on everything I could think of."
Although Tibbs battled cancer for a number of years, she never let the illness define her, Steele said.
She had a clear moral compass of right and wrong, he said.
Steele and Tibbs were both elected in 2000 and could not seek another term due to term limits.
She will finish the session in spirit, Steele said.
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465
Gov. Mary Fallin presents a state flag to Homer Tibbs, the widower of state Rep. Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa, during a memorial service for Tibbs on Thursday on the House chamber at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Tibbs' daughters - Kelli Dodd (left) and Debra Wiest - also attended the service. Sue Tibbs died April 6. SUE OGROCKI/Associated
Rep. Sue Tibbs: The six-term Tulsa Republican was chairwoman of the House Public Safety Committee at the time of her death April 6 of cancer