Rep. Brumbaugh passes unexpectedly

State Representative David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow House District 76, died Saturday night. He was 56.

His family will be available for visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Floral Haven Funeral Home in Broken Arrow. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Tulsa Bible Church, with a graveside service following at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens in Broken Arrow.

The Oklahoma House paid tribute to Brumbaugh Monday, with comments from his closest associates, including Dr. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee.

“David was a serious lawmaker, and he really believed in the work he was doing on behalf of his constituents,” said Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. “He was one of the kindest and most sincere men I have ever known. He had many friends on both sides of the aisle and most who knew him held a deep respect for him inside and outside the Capitol. Every member of the House and our staff will miss him, and our prayers are with his sweet wife, Shelley, and his two daughters who are hurting deeply.”

The House placed a folded United States flag on Brumbaugh’s desk and draped an Oklahoma flag across his empty chair.

“David Brumbaugh was a good friend,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine. “He held consistently to his conservative legislative principles while maintaining great relationships with people of differing opinions.  He never wavered from the truth.”

“David was one of the finest Christian men I have ever known and that was evident in all his actions, as a businessman, a husband, a father and a state representative,” said Charles Biggs, publisher of the Tulsa Beacon. “This is a great loss but I am confident David is in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ.”

A column written by Brumbaugh last week appears in this issue of the Tulsa Beacon on page 6.

The cause of death is not yet known.

Brumbaugh was born in Abington, Pennsylvania, and earned degrees from Belmont Abbey College and Pacific Western University. He also attended Oklahoma State University.

Brumbaugh was the president and owner of DRB Industries LLC, an electric power company. For several years, he served on the board of education for Mingo Valley Christian School.

Brumbaugh is a former commissioner for the Tulsa City-County Library. He was an ordained deacon, former chairman of the deacon board, and Sunday School teacher at Tulsa Bible Church. He has also taught in a seminary.

Brumbaugh was a decorated U.S. Army veteran with the 101st Airborne Division and U.S. Army Air Assault.

Survivors include his wife, Shelley Brumbaugh, and daughters Abigail and Hannah.

Many elected officials have expressed their condolences.

“I’m so saddened to hear of the sudden death of Rep. David Brumbaugh,” said U.S. Sen. James Lankford. “Cindy and I pray for his friends and family.”

“David was a great leader in Broken Arrow and worked daily for his constituents,” said State Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Broken Arrow. “We are praying for his wife and two daughters through this difficult time. I pray Gods grace be with them.

“Representative Brumbaugh was a fair and dedicated public servant,” said Gov. Mary Fallin. “He was a hard-working member of the House of Representatives, where he served as caucus chairman of House Republicans and as vice chairman of the House Appropriation and Budget Committee’s subcommittee on general government. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.”

“During his time in the House, David consistently operated on principle, authoring bills and voting on bills based on God’s law, not political expedience,” said John Michener, president of OCPAC (Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee.)” OCPAC regularly praised Brumbaugh for his conservative leadership in the Oklahoma House, including scoring 100 percent on Conservative Index four years in a row.

“Just last week David Brumbaugh shepherded Senate Bill 393, the Oklahoma Science Education Act, out of a House committee,” Michener said. “The heart of that bill states,  ‘Teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.’  This bill will allow teachers to expose the weaknesses of evolution and teach it in its proper context as a theory, not a fact.

“As SB 393 works its way onto the House floor for its final vote, it would be fitting if Rep. Brumbaugh’s colleagues were to rename the bill the ‘David Brumbaugh Legacy Bill.’”