Former lawmaker Klempa dead at 70

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former state lawmaker and Ohio County commissioner Orphy Klempa died Monday of bladder cancer.

Orphy Klempa

Klempa was 70.

State Senator Mike Caputo, D-Marion, requested a moment of silence during Tuesday morning’s floor session in the Senate.

“West Virginia lost a great public servant and I lost a very, very good friend,” Caputo said in brief remarks.

Klempa served two terms in the House of Delegates beginning in 2006. He then was elected to the state Senate to represent the northern panhandle in 2010. He left the Senate two years later after being appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Ohio County Commission. He was elected to a full six-year term in November 2012.

Klempa was a high-ranking official in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters. He became the union’s business representative in 1995. He would also serve in top positions in other labor-related efforts.

Mike Caputo

Caputo said Klempa’s life was about service.

“He devoted his entire life to helping people whether it was through his union or public office,” Caputo said.

Klumpa died at Wheeling Hospital early Monday.

Altmeyer Funeral Home in Elm Grove is in charge of arrangements. Visitation is scheduled for Friday with a Mass of Christian Burial set for Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling.

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