(FRENCH LICK) - Former District 62 State Representative Jerry Denbo, of Frech Lick, died of natural causes peacefully in his sleep Monday, according to Aaron Kemple of Brosmer-Kemple Funeral Home in French Lick.
Arrangements are pending and should be announced later today.
63-year-old Denbo resigned from his Democrat state representative post in November 2007, after serving 17 years.
The French Lick native represented District 62 from 1990 until his retirement in 2007 when he help the position of assistant majority caucus chairman and had held the Democratic Party leadership position for 13 years.
Denbo ran for state representative after being convinced by the late Larry Conrad to put his name on the ballot.
Denbo received notoriety on a national level after he pushed for approval for a casino in French Lick, which had long been one of the most economically depressed areas of the state.
The bill passed in 2003, and the French Lick Resort opened in 2006.
Denbo is also known for authoring legislation making it legal to post the Ten commandments in public buildings.
He also received dozens of awards, most notably the seldom-given "Defender of Freedom Award" from the National Rifle Association; the "Indiana Citizen of the Year" award from the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians; Organized Labor's "Legislator of the Year"; and the Indiana American Legion's legislative recognition.
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