U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus called Ann Wilson his first friend in Cambria County.
They got to know each other when Rothfus, then a candidate living in Sewickley, visited the region during his 2012 campaign.
Wilson, the Republican Party of Cambria County chairwoman, helped Rothfus get to know the area’s voters and community leaders.
With her assistance, Rothfus defeated incumbent Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johns-
town, in the 12th district’s general election.
Wilson died on Feb. 19 at the age of 47, following a short battle with aggressive cancer.
On Tuesday, Rothfus, a cancer survivor himself, remembered his departed friend during a speech on the U.S. House of Representatives floor.
He paid tribute to the many roles Wilson played in her community.
“Mrs. Wilson could have been anyone’s daughter, anyone’s wife, anyone’s mother, co-worker, employer or fellow church member,” Rothfus said. “She was extraordinary because she excelled in each of these roles. She was a woman for all seasons.”
At the time of her passing, Wilson was serving on Johnstown City Council.
She was first elected in 2005.
“Notably, Ann was the top vote-getter on the ticket, beating out seven incumbents,” Rothfus said.
“In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans seven to three, she was the top vote-getter, demonstrating her broad bipartisan appeal.”
Rothfus also mentioned Wilson’s relationships with her husband, Bill, and children, Katie, Billy and Clara, along with her connection to the Catholic Church.
He concluded by saying, “In a world and time given to cynicism and doubt, Ann Wilson stands out in stark contrast. She is a role model for excellence in family life, professional work and community engagement.
“Indeed, she was full of passion for the things in life that really matter.
“It is a privilege to stand here today to remember Mrs. Ann Wilson of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Her family and Johnstown’s loss is heaven’s gain. May she rest in peace and may her family be comforted in their loss. She will be missed not only by her husband and children but by her community.”
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