Flags will be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of former State Senator Patricia (Patty) Birkholz. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made the announcement Tuesday morning. Birkholz died in May after an unexpected and aggressive return of cancer.
"Patty was a great advocate for the environment and Great Lakes," Snyder said in a press release. “The work she did in office and for her community will continue to positively impact Michigan for years to come. Sue and I send our sincerest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues as they continue mourning the loss of this great Michigander.”
Birkholz served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1997-2002 and went on to serve two terms in the Michigan Senate. Additionally, Birkholz was appointed director of the Office of the Great Lakes and Great Lakes Commission representative by Gov. Snyder and appointed to the National Sea Grant Advisory Board by former President Barack Obama.
She previously served as Saugatuck Township trustee and Allegan County treasurer before serving in the Michigan Legislature.
The Michigan Senate will hold a remembrance on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to celebrate Birkholz’s life and service to Michigan.