BOISE — Former state Sen. John Andreason died Monday evening in Boise.
Andreason, 88, was diagnosed with liver cancer in August, according to family members.
Funeral services have not yet been set.
Andreason is survived by two sons, Tom and Dale; a daughter, Lori Rouse; 10 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene, who died in July 2015.
“They were childhood friends, high school sweethearts and married 66-plus years,” said Rouse of her parents, who grew up together in Arco.
Andreason represented West Boise’s District 15 for 18 years, from 1995 until he retired in 2012.
Prior to becoming a state senator he served as director of the Legislative Budget Office from 1971 to 1994.
Andreason also served as a state senator from 1969 to 1970 while living in Arco.
During his 43-year career as a public servant, he worked with seven Idaho governors, including Don Samuelson, Cecil Andrus, John Evans, Phil Batt, Dirk Kempthorne, Jim Risch and Butch Otter.
“We often had governors in our dining room for dinner when we were kids,” said Tom Andreason.
In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch said, “John was a colleague, but more importantly he was a good friend. He was reliable and loved Idaho. Our state has lost a real champion.”
Risch served 11 terms in the Idaho Senate, including years that overlapped with Andreason’s career.
Andreason, a moderate, was among eight GOP senators who bucked Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna on school reform in 2011.
“His passions in the Senate were education, firefighters, fish and game,” said Dale Andreason.
When not dedicating his time to serving Idaho, Andreason was “an Idaho sportsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, skiing and golfing,” said Rouse.