DOYLESTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- From Bucks County Commissioner to the United States Congress, Mike Fitzpatrick was well known to folks in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
The news came Monday morning that after a battle with melanoma, former Republican congressman Mike Fitzpatrick passed away at the age of 56.
His brother and successor in Congress, Brian Fitzpatrick, said in a statement Monday: "My heart is broken. My big brother Mike was my hero and my best friend."
Throughout his congressional district, we found people with fond memories of Mike Fitzpatrick.
"Everywhere I go people who knew Mike Fitzpatrick knew that you could get ahold of this guy. He was who our framers had in mind on a Congressman. A true representative of the people of his district," said Bensalem's Public Safety Director Fred Harran.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub tweeted today: "As a young assistant district attorney, Mike Fitzpatrick was always someone I looked up to and sought to emulate in how he served the public, regardless of affiliation or stature. He treated everyone with dignity."
Through a 12-year battle with cancer, Fitzpatrick was involved with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Bensalem and Fairless Hills.
"He would participate with our survivors, our survivor tent, survivor lap. He spoke at a few of our events over the years and was a great advocate and spokesperson that really helped support our organization," said Brianna Amato with the American Cancer Society.
While in Congress, Fitzpatrick worked to establish the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, which opened in 2009.
Even his political opponent Patrick Murphy is heavy-hearted. Murphy defeated Fitzpatrick for his seat in Congress in 2006 in a tight race.
"When it was over, he reached out and said would you want to have breakfast? And talk about my lessons learned. And I thought that was extremely gracious," said Murphy.
Fitzpatrick took the seat back from Murphy in 2010.
Fitzpatrick was from Levittown, Pa. and leaves behind a wife and six children.
Mike Fitzpatrick, former U.S. Congressman from Bucks County, has died at 56
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