(UnitedVoice.com) – Parents are not supposed to lay their children to rest. It’s not the normal order of things. Sadly, that’s what a US congressman and his wife are doing.
On August 22, Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) announced the death of his oldest daughter, Sydney Marie Martenis. She passed away from an aggressive form of cancer, but the congressman did not reveal which one. She’d been battling the disease for more than a year when she died.
According to the statement by the congressman, he and his wife, Sara Jane, are “heartbroken” that they will no longer be able to see her smile or hear her laugh in person. However, they are “thankful that she is resting with [their] Lord” and that they were able to “spend these years with her and her family.” Van Orden said she was surrounded by her family when she passed away.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle sent their condolences to the congressman and his family. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) posted a statement saying his heart went out to the Republican lawmaker and asked everyone to pray for their family. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that parents shouldn’t “have to experience this kind of heartbreak.” He also said he was praying for the family.
No parent should have to experience this kind of heartbreak. I'm praying for @RepVanOrden and his family during this tragic time.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) August 22, 2023
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) also sent her condolences to the Van Orden and Martenis families, telling them she was “incredibly sorry” for their loss and that she’d keep them in her thoughts.
Sydney was married and had three children: Roman, Charlie, and Madelyn. She is survived by her parents, grandma, sister, two brothers, and a large extended family.
The New York Post reported that Chris Martenis called Sydney hard-working, thoughtful, and caring. He said she was a “wonderful mother” who “was always surprising [him] with interesting and challenging experiences” for their children. The grieving husband said his wife was “better” than what he deserved. He called her “exemplary” and said, “The world is less bright without her here.”
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