GOP Lawmaker Announces Daughter's Death


Republican Congressman Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisc.) announced the death of his oldest daughter.

Van Orden’s press office released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, on the death of Orden’s daughter, Sydney Marie Martenis.

“It is with the most profound sense of grief and joy that Sara Jane and I announce the passing of our oldest daughter, Sydney Marie (Van Orden) Martenis, after a year of battling a very aggressive form of cancer. She died peacefully surrounded by her family,” Orden wrote.

In his statement, he shared he and his wife, Sarah Jane, are “heartbroken that we cannot share her smile and laugh in person any longer.”

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However, he said they were “so thankful that she is resting with our Lord” and were “able to spend these years with her and her family.”

“Sydney is survived by grandma Virginia Whitelock, husband Chris, daughter Madelyn, sons Charlie and Roman, father and mother Derrick and Sara Jane, sister Abigail (Williams), brothers Theodore and Daniel, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins,” the statement continued.

Orden concluded, “Thank you for all of the tender mercies you have shown to our family. May God bless you all.”

Fellow lawmakers extended their condolences to Orden on X following his daughter’s passing.

“No parent should have to experience this kind of heartbreak. I’m praying for [Rep. Van Orden] and his family during this tragic time,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) also showed his support for Orden.

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“We are praying for your family, brother, and we’re grateful for the blessed assurance in knowing where Sydney is. “[N]either death nor life, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” he wrote, quoting the Bible verse Romans 8:38-39.

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