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ATV rollover in Juab kills the former 3-term Utah congressman

Published: Sunday, April 19 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Laura Wall

A terrible loss for Utah. Thoughts and prayers with his family...Jacquelyn, we are here for you.

Brad B

My condolances go to Bill Orton family in their time of loss. He was a great a great man and will be missed.

BYU Law Student

A great Utahan and an even greater man. He represented what was best about our state. My condolences to the family.

Dave J

I remember Bill Orton as a man of integrity and as an assett to Utah. My condolances go out to his family in this their time of need. He was a strong man, with strong convictions. My only regret is that he didn't defeat Leavitt for governor.

Bill will be missed

I loved Bill Orton when he represented Utah. I was one of those Republicans who first voted him in. My condolences and prayers are with his family. God Bless.

Great man

Bill was a great man and probably one of the greatest congressmen Utah has had in a long time. He truly votes his conscience. Something I doubt many representatives have today.

Rebecca Cressman

I'm so sorry for the Orton family. Life is so fragile. Bill worked hard to be selfless, ethical, and just as a politician and as a public servant. So sorry.

David Bresnahan

Bill Orton was a great statesman who served Utah well. I was shocked and very sad to learn of his untimely passing. His family will all be in our prayers.


What a gentleman, what a wonderful individual. I'm so sad for his family. I'm very grateful for his contributions to our state and nation.


I met Bill Orton on two occasions. Both times he took time out of his schedule, once when he was already running incredibly late, to meet with groups of high school kids. I've had politicians in my class who did nothing but jockey for position on issues and try to spin issues. Bill Orton was not like that. He was a kind hearted/do what's best for people human being. He served genuinely with honor and integrity. It was a sad day for Utah when he was defeated, but it is a far sadder day today.

With Sympathy

My heart goes out to the Orton family. Bill Orton was a great representative of Utah. I always admired his willingness to vote for what was right and fit the needs of Utah, even if it wasn't within party lines. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


A man of wisdom and integrity, Bill Orton was one of the greatest congressmen in our state. We need more leaders like him. As we remember his life, may we be inspired to seek out and elect leaders with such integrity in the future. Our sympathy goes out to his family.

Tuffy Parker

Congressman Orton represented and served Utah well. That a Democrat could be elected by one of the most Republican districts in the nation speaks volumes about his integrity and commitment to his constituents. If Clinton had not blindsided him and hung him out to dry with the Grand Staircase debacle, it's likely that this good man would have represented us for several additional terms.

May God bless his family in this difficult time.


I once had a chance to interview Bill Orton when he was running for the congress the first time. I was a rookie newspaper reporter and he was kind and patient in my stumbling and took time to answer my very simple and basic questions. It was an honor to have known him.

the Pugs

Bill Orton was a politician for the people not the party. Hence so many of us republicans voted for him. He still has the photo in his office of him kissing our newborn along the July Fourth Parade route. He was a single man seeking office in Utah County! He later worked with our young daughter as a poster child for the March of Dimes. He will be missed. Condolences and peace to the family.

Chris Cannon

Tuffy wrote: That a Democrat could be elected by one of the most Republican districts in the nation speaks volumes about his integrity and commitment to his constituents. If Clinton had not blindsided him and hung him out to dry with the Grand Staircase debacle, it's likely that this good man would have represented us for several additional terms....


Bill was one of the "Good Guys." I will miss him. Utah will miss him. My heart goes out to his lovely wife and wonderful sons. You will be in our prayers.

Andy Wilson

Bill Orton was the first Congressman I ever voted for when I turned 18, and the first campaign I ever volunteered on. His example made me want to be engaged in politics even when the average teen was certainly apathetic about politics, and helped inspire me to a life of public service.

My best memory of him was during the 1994 impasse over the budget when they shut the gov't down, Bill and another moderate Rep. Congressman proposed an alternate budget that met all of the criteria that both the Dems and GOP had set for what they wanted. No one paid attention, as partisanship won out over progress and reason.

The world was a better place for him being here, and is a worse place without him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this impossible time.

Graig Larsen

Having known Bill since we were kids, this news is sad indeed. He was a good young man who used his skills to become an accomplished professional and civil servant. We moved to California well before Bill was elected to Congress, but I followed his career with interest. Our hearts go out to his family, his wife and sons, and his many friends and former constituents who will surely miss him. This is a sad day.

I can't believe it

What a shock. I can't believe it. Life is fragile.

Dropping By

I voted for Bro. Orton during his first run for Congress, even though I am a conservative Republican. I had seen the shocking, odious ad run by his Republican opponent who was all but assured of winning (polls were at something like 80-20 just days before the election -- Orton had NO CHANCE).

But even though I was absolutely certain that I was throwing my vote away, I waited in line and voted for Orton, because I was so disgusted by the smug, holier-than-thou campaign tactic of a BYU professor (and administrator) who should have known much, much better than to do anything like that. I was just about to graduate from BYU Law School, and I had loved my time there and my professors, but that Republican congressional candidate crossed. the. line. Words can't describe how excited I was the next morning to learn that tens of thousands of others had clearly felt the same way and had repudiated such an ugly display.

It's rare in life when arrogance and elitism are so roundly beaten back so easily. RIP, Bro. Orton.

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