Wilbur Faiss

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Wilbur Faiss
Member of the Nevada Senate
from the North Las Vegas district
In office
1976–1984
Personal details
Born (1911-10-14)October 14, 1911
Centralia, Illinois
Died November 2, 2013(2013-11-02) (aged 102)
Carson City, Nevada
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Theresa E. Watts
(m. April 14, 1933–October 28, 2012; 79 years, 197 days)
Children Robert, Donald, Ronald
Occupation small business owner

Wilbur Faiss (October 14, 1911 – November 2, 2013) was an American politician. He served in the Nevada State Senate.

Faiss was born at Centralia, Illinois in 1911, the son of John and Belle Faiss. He married Theresa E. Watts, whom he had first met at St. Louis, Missouri, on April 14, 1933.[1] They had three sons, Robert, Donald and Ronald. The family relocated to North Las Vegas, Nevada in 1944, and upon their arrival, Wilbur operated a small business (Truck Haven and later Truck Harbor) and served as a volunteer firefighter. He also a worked on Nevada Test Site in the 1950s, and was a part of a teamsters' union. Retiring from business in 1976, Faiss, then aged 65 ran for election as a Democratic candidate for the Nevada State Senate, winning election to represent North Las Vegas. He served two terms, until 1984. During his time in office advocated for the working class, seniors issues, education, and civil rights.[2] He voted in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1977, and wrote laws including one permitting pharmacists to replace lower-cost generic drugs with brand name drugs, and one to grant free admission for senior citizens to state parks.[3]

He was honored with a resolution in the Nevada Senate in 1983 on the occasion of his 50th wedding anniversary.[4] In January 2012, he and his wife were recognized as one of the longest married couples in the United States by President Barack Obama.[5][6] He later stated that the key to a long marriage was to compromise; his wife was a Republican while he was a Democrat. His wife, Theresa died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 97, after 79 years of marriage. He later moved to Carson City, Nevada to be closer to his family.[7] The Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School was named in honor of him and his wife. He delivered an address to the students there on the eve of his 100th birthday in 2011.[2]

He was honored by the Nevada State Senate on April 25, 2013, "for his distinguished service to the State of Nevada and his exemplary life achievements".[8] April 25, 2013 was also proclaimed Senate Wilbur Faiss Day by Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval.[2] Faiss died aged 102 after weeks of hospitalization at Carson City, Nevada in 2013. He was assumed to be the oldest living former state legislator in the United States at the time of his death. Upon his death, governor Brian Sandoval stated: “I was deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Wilbur Faiss. Mr. Faiss had a tireless commitment to the state and its people, but most importantly, he devoted his life to his wife and children".[9] He was also honored in the United States Senate by Nevada Senator Dean Heller.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wilbur Faiss: The centenarian former senator who shares a simple secret to his 78-year marriage | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  2. ^ a b c http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Bills/SR/SR8.pdf
  3. ^ Whaleylas, Sean (2013-11-04). "Former legislator Wilbur Faiss dies at 102 | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Reviewjournal.com. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  4. ^ "Statutes of the State of Nevada - Nevada - Google Books". Books.google.ca. 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  5. ^ @katespringer (2012-02-01). "All You Need Is Love: Obama to Recognize Nation’s Longest-Married Couple | TIME.com". Newsfeed.time.com. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  6. ^ "Wilbur Faiss Obituary | Wilbur Faiss Funeral". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  7. ^ The Associated Press. "Theresa Faiss, one half of the longest married couple, dies at 97". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  8. ^ The Associated Press (2013-04-25). "State Senate honors 101-year-old ex-legislator Wilbur Faiss | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Reviewjournal.com. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  9. ^ "Wilbur Faiss, oldest former Nevada lawmaker, dies". KRNV-DT. 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  10. ^ "HONORING WILBUR FAISS - Notable Nevadans - News - United States Senator Dean Heller". Heller.senate.gov. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2014-03-06.