Frank Warnke, who represented two different South King County districts in the state House and Senate for 18 years and later lobbied for clients including the Public School Employees union for which he was its first executive director, died at home Sept. 23 after a long illness.
The news was released by his family which said a public memorial will be scheduled sometime in November.
Warnke, a Democrat, represented the 30th District from 1973 to 1983. After redistricting, he then served two terms in the Senate from the 31st District from 1983 to 1991. In the Senate he was chairman of the Labor and Commerce Committee and was later Democratic Caucus Chairman.
Warnke was born in Harlem, Mont. in 1933 and studied political science at Central Washington University and the University of Washington.
Here is the message that went out to members of the Third House, the informal name for lobbyists in Olympia. It is from Warnke’s daughter-in-law Tamara Warnke, who is also a lobbyist:
My Father-In-Law, the Honorable Frank J. Warnke passed away on September 23rd. He was at his home with his wife Beverly; they just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in July.
Frank served in the House of Representatives and also in the Senate for many years. While in the Senate he Chaired the Labor & Commerce Committee , was the Democrat Caucus Chair and was a formidable fundraiser for the D caucus.
Frank was near & dear to many folks, and he touch many lives… in a way that only Frank could do. In his honor, there will be a Memorial Service in mid November at the Capitol in the Rotunda to honor his career and his outstanding contribution to the state.
And here is a tribute to Warnke on the school employee union’s webpage.