Missouri House member Bean dies at 68

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Missouri Dist. 163 Rep. Otto "Ott" Bean Jr., R-Holcomb, a modest farmer born and raised in the Bootheel who championed the philosophy of fairness in state politics, died at Memphis Sunday after a number of fruitless attempts to cure a blood disorder. He was 68.

Born Jan. 1, 1938, at Gideon, Mo., the late representative was diagnosed with a chronic myeloproliferative blood disorder approximately two years ago, his family said. The condition worsened and Bean was diagnosed with acute leukemia in early 2006.

Bean announced to colleagues on Feb. 27 that he would not seek a re-election bid.

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, said Bean was his own man.

"Ott was the same person in Peach Orchard as he was in the halls of the state Capitol at Jefferson City," Emerson said late Monday from Washington.

Missouri Speaker of the House Rod Jetton said Bean was "a wonderful man, a great representative" and someone he considered a friend.

Bean made Missouri political history in 2002 when he was elected the first Republican to represent District 163 in more than 120 years, his bio stated.

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt Monday directed that "all flags at state facilities be flown at half-staff" to honor Bean's memory. Flags will remain at half-staff until dusk on the evening of Saturday.

Bean represented parts of Dunklin, Butler and Stoddard counties for two terms.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church at Kennett, Mo.

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