Mike Fitzpatrick, who was a U.S. Congressman for eight years and Bucks County Commissioner for almost 10 years, died Jan. 6 at age 56.
"Michael Fitzpatrick passed away peacefully this morning, surrounded by family, after a long and arduous battle with melanoma," his family said in a statement released by county Republican Party officials, the Associated Press reported.
Fitzpatrick, a Republican who was part of the "No Labels" bipartisan group in the House, represented what was then Pennsylvania's 8th District covering Bucks County and part of Montgomery County. The district has since become Pennsylvania's 1st District. His brother, Brian Fitzpatrick, now holds the seat.
"Mike Fitzpatrick honorably served Bucks County as a commissioner and as a congressman, fighting to make our communities stronger and find compromise in a bipartisan way," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a release. "After receiving a cancer diagnosis in the prime of his life, he chose to not just courageously fight, but to share his story with the hope of giving strength to others. He will be greatly missed, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
After serving one term in the House, Fitzpatrick was defeated for re-election, then successfully again ran for the office and was returned to it for three more terms. The Montgomery County portion of the district is in the Souderton area.
"Mike's victory in 2010 came with a promise to his constituents that he would only serve three terms. True to his word, in 2016 Congressman Fitzpatrick retired, leaving a lasting legacy of service in Congress. From standing up for the rights of victims who were injured by faulty medical devices, to Chairing the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, Mike always fought to keep families safe," the Republican Party of Pennsylvania said in a release.
"Rarely were there community events, party gatherings, or local meetings where Mike was not present. His commitment to his district and his constituents was unparalleled and will remain the model to congressmen for many years," the RPP said.
Fitzpatrick was also an Eagle Scout who was awarded the Silver Beaver Award for a lifetime of service to the Boy Scouts of America, as well as being a member of the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club and Ancient Order of Hibernians, the release said.
He and his wife, Kathleen, had six children.
Condolence messages for Fitzpatrick's death included releases from Pennsylvania's two United States senators, Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Bob Casey.
"Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick served our commonwealth and country with great integrity, competence, and dignity. During his time as a Bucks County Commissioner, and then as a member of Congress, Mike proved time and again that it is possible to work across the aisle to make progress while remaining true to one's principles. Kris and I extend our condolences to Mike's wife Kathleen, their children, and the entire Fitzpatrick family," Toomey said.
"Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick served our Commonwealth with distinction, demonstrating countless times his willingness to reach across the aisle and put people before politics. I am sending my deepest condolences to Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and the entire Fitzpatrick family," Casey said.