Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai passed away on Wednesday after a short bout with pancreatic cancer. He was just 49 years old.
His office confirmed the congressman's death in a statement that read:
“The Takai family thanks the people of Hawaii for their support during this difficult time. Information regarding a service will be available at a later time. The Takai family politely asks for the continued respect of their family’s privacy.”
Hawaii Governor David Ige (D) also released a statement following Takai's passing, writing in part:
"Mark humbly and effectively served the people of his state House and Congressional districts. In the often tumultuous world of politics, he has been a shining example of what it means to be a public servant.
While we will deeply feel the loss of Mark Takai in the public arena, we cannot forget that he was a family man first. His wife, children and extended family will miss him every moment from this day on."
Takai, who has only been in Congress since January of 2015, was first diagnosed with the disease last October. He had planned to run for re-election this fall, but dropped his bid in May after learning that his cancer had spread.
He appeared to be in good spirits during his final days in Washington, as captured by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) back in April:
Prior to serving in Congress, Takai spent 20 years in the Hawaii state House of Representatives. He was also a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, serving in Kuwait in 2009.
He leaves behind a wife, Sami, and two children, Matthew and Kaila.