JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri House Rep. Rebecca Roeber has died while on vacation with her family, House Communications Director Trevor Fox told FOX4.
“She passed away this morning while on vacation in Colorado with her extended family,” Fox said in an email.
It’s unclear at what time she died or the reason for her death. Fox said her husband did not know the reason for her death at the time this story was published.
In March 2019, Roeber was in a crash that left her in critical condition at a hospital in Columbia. She had recently been released from her rehabilitation and had been strengthened by “her belief that the Lord Jesus Christ had her in his care all this while,” her husband said.
“This was kind of a victory lap. We were all going to come out here and celebrate our time,” Rick Roeber, her husband, said in an AP report.
She posted on Facebook last month that the crash was the result of undiagnosed sleep apnea and that she planned to seek re-election in 2020, according to the report.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend, and a beloved colleague of the members of the House, Rebecca Roeber,” House Speaker Elijah Haahr said. “She was a truly wonderful person and a dedicated public servant who will be greatly missed.”
Roeber, a Republican from District 034, Lee’s Summit, was elected to the House in 2014. Roeber was 61 years old. She died in her sleep.
“Saddened at the passing of Rep. Rebecca Roeber,” Gov. Mike Parson wrote in a Tweet. “5yrs in the House and 17yrs as an educator in Raytown. Her dedication to public service was only eclipsed by her compassion for others.”
Saddened at the passing of Rep. Rebecca Roeber. She was a dedicated public servant — 5yrs in the House and 17yrs as an educator in Raytown. Her dedication to public service was only eclipsed by her compassion for others. Please keep her husband Rick and family in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/sReEpfvaxb
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) July 30, 2019
Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird said Roeber always supported him and the Lee’s Summit community.
He said when he got the message Tuesday that she had died, everything stopped. Baird said she was a fighter, and she fought her way back to announce her re-election bid.
”I was shocked, but that’s Rebecca,” Baird said. “She’s a fighter. She’s determined. Nothing was going to stop her from helping and doing good and making a difference.”
“It makes sense, but it was just such a terrible accident. For her to come out and say this so quickly shows you she was never going to — she was never going to stop.”
Baird said Lee’s Summit has lost a champion for their community, and he lost a good friend.
“Our hearts pour out to you. Everyone in the city of Lee’s Summit knows Rebecca Roeber. She shows up. She showed up to council meetings. She showed up to school board meetings. She shows up. She is a big part of our community.”
“We’re going to miss her terribly and prayers go out to her family,” he continued. “We’ve lost a great citizen.”
Roeber attended Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit for more than 10 years. Pastor Phil Hopper said it was hard to hear about Roeber’s passing.
“Rebecca was an amazing human being,” Hopper said. “We will miss her very, very deeply. She served our community, our city, and the people of Missouri, and she will deeply missed by everybody.”
Hopper said no matter what you believed politically, Roeber was there for each one of her constituents.
“I’ve been very honored to be her pastor,” Hopper said. “She’s been a wonderful, wonderful church member and personal friend. Deep person of conviction and passion. Regardless on what side you may have been related to the political aisle, she had the respect of everybody, because honestly — she cared about everybody.”