Mike O'Pake leaves behind indelible footprints

A lot can happen between today and the rest of time. But I doubt we will ever see another politician in Berks County like Mike O’Pake.
O’Pake, like oxygen, was everywhere. He never met a photo op or an event he didn’t like. He had an iconic presence like no other.
He turned service into a constant. As a powerbroker in Harrisburg, he used his clout to bring numerous projects and dollars to Berks. O’Pake, in his omnipresent dark suit, white shirt, crisp tie and big smile, was notable for handing out checks and state maps.
He truly was an advocate for the people and their causes/organizations. Silver-tongued, trim, charming and seemingly forever-young handsome, he may have looked like a patrician but he genuinely loved to mingle with folks.
Now that wonderful voice of his has been silenced at age 70.
He died today in Reading Hospital where he had been recovering from complications suffered during heart bypass surgery on Nov. 22.
Berks County will not be the same without him.
Mike O’Pake’s name deserves to be chiseled into a building around here. Probably more than one.

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