State Rep. Bill Grant dies at 71

State Rep. Bill Grant (D-Walla Walla) died Sunday morning at the age of 71.  He was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer just last month.  My condolences to his friends and family.


  1. 1

    Tom Foss spews:

    Goldy, thanks for posting this. I just heard about this. I would urge people to read the fine tributes to come for Bill. My heart is very heavy tonight.

    Several times, I had the pleasure of sitting with Bill at various Walla Walla cafes and coffee shops. He was known and loved by everyone. You could hardly carry on a conversation with him, because everyone wanted to say hi.

    Bill gave meaning to citizen-legislators. He worked the wheat harvests hard, and represented his community and his district and their values well. He was among the most respected people in Olympia. As a family farmer, he was a dying breed. He was constant in his community and a legend. As a result, he was never vulnearble to political tides, and routinely got 60% in a 2-1 Republican district. I heard many a repub say, this is the year we beat him, and they always tried, but it never happened. And the funny thing is, even his opponents usually ended up loving him.

    Many west sider progressives were sometimes frustrated by Bill, because he was a small town Ea Wa Democrat. He voted his beliefs and his district, but was always a model of civility and companionship. His style gave meaning to the diversity of our state and give and take of politics. He also had a heart as big as the Palouse.

    He will be missed and never forgotten by his legions of friends. God rest your heart and soul, Bill.

  2. 2

    Dave Gibney spews:

    We have lost an important voice for Eastern Washington. Bill was a great man and one of the few rural voices on the majority side of the aisle.
    And also a tragedy ill timed as one of the more important sessions in Washington history gets underway. This makes two legislators from the dry side dead in a couple weeks. Not the best of omens.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Wrong, now he’s “forever unbeaten,” like a champ who retires from the ring with a perfect record.

  4. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Wherever you are now, Bill, may my bunny cousins hop through your plowed fields and leap across your furrows.

  5. 6

    FricknFrack spews:

    What truly nice tributes! My respects to State Rep Bill Grant and his family & friends. Sorry for your loss.

  6. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Minnesota Update

    The recount is completed and the state election board will announce tomorrow that Al Franken won by 225 votes. Yay for Al Franken!

  7. 10

    verine spews:

    Kind of ironic he died of lung cancer when he was one of the leading opponents of legislation banning cigarette manufacturers from giving away free samples to kids under 18. And he opposed virtually every piece of good environmental protection legislation.

  8. 11

    verine spews:

    Kind of ironic he died of lung cancer when he was one of the leading opponents of legislation banning cigarette manufacturers from giving away free samples to kids under 18. And he opposed virtually every piece of good environmental protection legislation.

  9. 12

    OlyRebel spews:

    Bill was a kind, hard working, caring, tenacious, out spoken man who went way too early. I’m still getting used to him being ill. It happened so extremely fast. He will be very much missed in the House D Caucus and the legislature, as well as the many friends he has made. God Bless you Bill.

  10. 13

    Matty spews:

    I’m going to miss Bill terribly. He was a gentleman, a kind soul, and a great legislator.

    I’ll be thinking of Bill’s family and friends in the coming months.

    …and it’s been a rough weekend for Eastern Washington legislators. Saturday was the funeral for Stephen Hailey of the 9th District. He succumbed to colon cancer in December.

    Both of their absences will be felt.

  11. 14

    JB spews:

    Dear compasionate Verine,

    The cancer was unrelated to the use of tobacco products. It is associated with dust — the kind of dust farmers experience working in their fields. You know, growing food for the rest of us to eat. Why can’t you give up on negative carping for just one day?

    There is a phrase in a college song that is appropriate in remembering Bill Grant:

    “And when our work is done, our course on earth is run, may it be said, ‘Well done, be thou at peace.”

    To Bill Grant, well done, be thou at peace.

  12. 15

    Lynn spews:

    I met Bill just once when I was down in Olympia interviewing 6 of the 7 Democrats who had been targeted by a nasty, false set of postcards by
    Republicans a few years ago.

    He was larger than life. When told that a couple of bloggers were unexpectedly waiting for him out in the hall, he threw open the door and yelled, “I want to see what bloggers look like” and invited us in for a lovely chat.

    I’m not surprised that he will be sorely missed.

  13. 16

    Bob Carlton spews:

    I will miss working with Bill Grant. A true gentleman of the finest cloth.
    My condolences to his family. I will especially miss his humor. Rest in peace Bill, you earned it.

  14. 17

    M.D. Antle spews:

    I lived four doors down the street from the Grants when I was much younger. I learned some great lessons from Bill. Our interactions were those of a teenager trying to find himself and a sage listening and providing advice. The greatest advice that I ever received from Bill went something like this “Believe in your heart, Believe in yourself, and the rest will follow”. That advice has been a guiding light for me my entire life.
    Nancy and family I truly wish the best for you all.

  15. 18

    Jesse Jackson Jr. spews:

    any dead democrat is a good one. maybe such luck could befall Mr. Emanuel or Mr. Richardson, you know those scandalous Democrats of an administration that HASN’T EVEN BEEN INAGURATED.