State Representative David Dank, 76, died Friday at his northwest Oklahoma City home of an apparent heart attack. His body was discovered Friday afternoon by Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan, a close friend who went to check on Dank's welfare.
Dank represented House District 85 in northwest Oklahoma City. He was first elected in 2006. During his legislative service he chaired the first House committee dealing with senior issues and a statewide task force on tax credits. Dank was known as an outspoken advocate of reform.
Dank was preceded in death by his wife, former State Rep. Odilia Dank. He is survived by stepdaughter Trina, her husband Gale and grandchildren Daniel and Hannah, all of Owasso, and by his brother Jan, of California, and sister Yvonne, of Tulsa.
“I have lost a mentor who taught me what public service was all about, and Oklahoma has lost a man of integrity and dedication,” Maughan said. “He was a champion of the taxpayers. We will not see his like again.”
House Democratic Leader Scott Inman released the following statement following Rep. Dank's death:
"All of us in the Democratic Caucus were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Representative Dank. He was a true gentleman and a genial colleague. David was an avid advocate for his constituents, especially for senior citizens. His absence will be felt strongly in the House of Representatives. He will be sorely missed. We send our deepest condolences to his family. We realize the enormous loss they, and we in the House of Representatives, have suffered with his passing."
House Speaker Jeffrey W. Hickman released the following statement following Rep. Dank's passing:
"Jana and I, and our children, along with our House of Representatives family, are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Rep. David Dank. I don't know of another public servant who had greater integrity or more passion about doing what he believed was best for the state he loved and unselfishly served. I had the good fortune to serve in the House with Rep. Odilia Dank as well as David, but the true honor were the friendships I developed almost instantly with both of them more than a decade ago when I was elected.
"David particularly loved children and his devotion to leave a better Oklahoma for the next generation motivated him daily in all aspects of his public service. David and Odilia quietly contributed significant financial resources to numerous programs which made a difference in the lives of children across our state. Personally, he became another grandfather to me and my family, and every conversation we had about any topic, whether we agreed or disagreed, began with questions about my three children and ended with something he wanted me to be sure to tell them.
"David was a talented journalist and a keen businessman, in addition to his significant and successful impact in Oklahoma politics and political campaigns. His public service spanned a far greater part of his life than just these past eight-plus years since he was elected and Oklahoma is a better place because of the difference he made and the life he lived.
"Our prayers go out to Trina, Gale, Hannah and Daniel, all of whom he was so proud of, loved deeply and spoke of often to those of us in his House family. I know how much David has missed Odilia and how lonely he has been since her passing. I rejoice in their reunion but I will miss so much his voice, his smile, his counsel, his wit, his laugh and most of all, I will miss my friend.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman also released a statement:
“We are shocked and saddened by the passing of Rep. David Dank,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “He was a dedicated legislator and a tireless advocate for taxpayers and constituents, but more importantly he was a man of honor and integrity. These qualities were evident in everything he did, from his hard work at the state Capitol to numerous other community leadership and public service efforts. Our prayers are with his family in their time of mourning.”
The family asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Odilia Dank Memorial Fund at Birth Choice of Oklahoma, 4701 S. Western Avenue, Oklahoma City, Okla. 73109. Services are pending with Smith and Kernke Funeral Home.