Rep. Alan Nunnelee Is Dead at 56 & His Family Says He's "Gone Home To Be With Jesus"

Following complications from brain cancer, Republican Congressman Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi's first district passed away on Friday at the age of 56. After the congressman was first diagnosed last May, he bravely returned to Congress after his initial surgeries and kept serving his district. He first arrived to Washington when the Republicans swept the House in 2010. Despite ongoing treatment, the congressman was re-elected to a third term and was seen working on Capital Hill just weeks ago.

In a released statement, Nunnelee's family said:

Congressman Alan Nunnelee has gone home to be with Jesus. He was well loved and will be greatly missed.

The late congressman was a man of faith, unafraid to speak openly about his strong beliefs. His website states that he knew "that faith in God is a cornerstone of American life." His official biography mentions that he served as both a deacon and a Sunday school teacher at his Baptist church.

A graduate of Mississippi State University, Nunnelee worked in the insurance industry, eventually becoming the Vice President of Allied Funeral Associates. Later on, he won a seat in the Mississippi state Senate where he established a strong record, setting him up to run for federal office.

In The Clarion-Ledger, Democratic Mississippi state Sen. Hob Bryan Nunnelee remembers Nunnellee's deep sense of fairness, which went far beyond politics and partisan lines:

He cared very much about the process, about making sure everyone was treated with respect and dignity. He was concerned with propriety, that the procedures were fair so that any lawmaker, even if they weren't in the leadership and no matter their party got a fair shot at convincing others.

Nunnelee's official positions on his website include steadfast support for the Second Amendment, repealing the Affordable Care Act, and promoting school choice. The late congressman voted largely with his Republican colleagues, advocating for limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which Nunnelee was a member, reflected on his late colleague's work ethic and personal attributes in a released statement:

Alan was one of those rare individuals that was driven, astute, and loyal to God, family, and country. He was a true gentleman at his very core. As a colleague, he was a workhorse – at times eschewing the limelight but ever-willing to dig down and get the hard work done. His work in Congress and on the Appropriations Committee is a testament to his dedication to making his district and this country a better place for all. And as a friend, no one could ask for a more loyal and decent man by your side.

Image: Congressman Alan Nunnelee/Facebook