The members and staff of the Oklahoma State Senate are mourning the passing of long-time Senate webmaster, Charles Israel. Israel, 48, had battled Muscular Dystrophy for years, yet diligently carried out his responsibilities managing the Senate website even as the illness progressed. He also was the point-man for Executive Nominations heard by the Senate, ensuring proper protocol was followed at all stages of the process. Israel passed away early Wednesday morning after suffering a massive stroke late Tuesday afternoon while at work.
On Wednesday morning, the Senate, staff and others in the gallery observed a moment of silence in honor of Charles Israel; a man described as inspirational.
"Charles epitomized perseverance, courage and dedication in the face of adversity," said Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee. "We all mourn his passing, and send our heartfelt condolences to his mother, Norma, and his sisters, Jennifer and Sara."
Israel attended Edmond Memorial High School and was a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). Israel joined the Senate staff in January, 1995. In addition to his web skills, he was also known for his sense of humor and masterful planning of practical jokes. Israel was a tremendous sports fan, and loved techno music.
As his mobility became increasingly impacted by MD, he required a wheelchair. In response, Senate co-workers and friends held an auction to purchase a trained service dog, Hobbes, who was his constant companion at work and at home for more than a decade.
Israel was preceded in death by his father, Charles, and brother, Paul, both of whom also had MD. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in Charles’ memory to Paws With A Cause, www.pawswithacause.org.